Mayor Vincent Gray won't resign
For the second consecutive day, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said he has no plans to step down despite calls for the embattled city leader to resign amid an ongoing investigation into his 2010 campaign.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, he said he was not surprised that D.C. Councilman David Catania called for him to resign.
However, Gray says he was caught off-guard by councilwoman Mary Cheh’s request that he resign, saying Cheh should know “innocent until proven guilty,” according to ABC 7 reporter Mark Segraves.
Cheh, Catania and councilwoman Muriel Bowser all called on Gray Wednesday to step down.
For her part, says she is "tired of the drumbeat" of scandal and that "it needs to stop."
"We have to have the opportunity to move on, we're mired in this drip, drip, drip of scandal and guilty pleas and investigations and raids on homes," Cheh said.
This week, a longtime associate, Jeanne Harris, pleaded guilty to running a shell campaign. She is the third person connected to his campaign who has pleaded guilty to criminal charges. Prosecutors say Harris funneled $653,000 in unreported funds from a co-conspirator to Gray's campaign.
Two of Gray's top campaign aides, Howard Brooks and Thomas Gore, pleaded guilty earlier this year to obstructing justice and lying to the FBI about paying another mayoral candidate, Sulaimon Brown, to criticize then-mayor Adrian Fenty.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said Wednesday the 2010 mayoral campaign was “corrupted."
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says the criminal activity by District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign is "deeply disturbing" and is calling on the mayor to respond.
Norton says the conduct revealed in federal court by a Gray campaign aide "goes to the heart of the democratic process."
She adds, "Mayor Gray has an obligation to clear this matter up quickly." She adds that Gray is a friend and that she's always known him "to have high professional and ethical standards."
Not everyone, however, is calling on Gray to leave office. Councilman Marion Barry, who has faced scandal while in office, said Gray should stay.
When asked if Gray should resign, Barry replied: "Hell no."
The man who would become acting mayor if Gray did resign said he's against it too at this point.
"The US attorney has not brought a charge,” says councilmember Phil Mendelson. “It strike me as being premature, I think that we need to be focused on government now."
Councilman Jim Graham told the embattled mayor Wednesday night that he needs to publically address the scandal. And graham says it needs to happen in the next couple of days or he too may call for the mayor's resignation.
“It’s no longer a question of saying well this is under an investigation, we are going to let this go, let this go,” Graham says. “Let this go, I don't think that's going to work.”