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Three top D.C. officials now under federal scrutiny

Thursday - 7/7/2011, 2:50pm  ET

Council Chairman Kwame Brown (Mark Segraves)
D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has denied doing anything illegal. (WTOP Photo/Mark Segraves)
WASHINGTON - Federal authorities are now looking into the dealings of three of D.C's top elected officials.

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Thursday decided to refer allegations regarding D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown's 2008 reelection campaign to the U.S. Attorney's Office for an investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is "aware" of the board's action, office spokesman William Miller says.

"We ... will take the information it provides into account as we continue to review this matter," Miller says in a statement.

Brown is accused of failing to report more than $100,000 in contributions and inaccurately reporting close to $350,000 in spending.

The elections board delayed a decision on whether to fine Brown, who has denied doing anything illegal. The chairman's attorney says Brown welcomes the federal investigation.

Also under federal scrutiny are Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.

A federal grand jury is investigating the accusations of former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown, who says Gray's mayoral campaign paid him and promised him a job in return for publicly criticizing former Mayor Adrian Fenty. Gray has denied Brown was promised a job.

Thomas is being investigated in connection with allegations he used his non-profit group to pay for travel and an Audi SUV, among other things.

The Washington City Paper reported Thursday that bank records show money from Team Thomas was used to pay for golf outings and a trip to Hooters restaurant, as well as hotel and restaurant charges.

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