WASHINGTON – A top official in D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s mayoral campaign has been charged with obstruction of justice as well as several campaign finance violations.
Court records show Thomas Gore has been charged with destruction of records in a federal investigation as well as three counts of making campaign contributions in the name of another person.
Gore, a longtime friend of Gray’s who worked on several of his previous campaigns, is charged with felony obstruction of justice for destroying a notebook containing records of payments the Gray campaign made to another mayoral candidate.
That candidate, referred to as “Candidate B” in court records, is likely Sulaimon Brown. Brown ran unsuccessfully against Gray and then Mayor Adrian Fenty in the 2010 race.
Brown has said he was paid cash by the Gray campaign and promised a government job for staying in the race and focusing his attacks at Fenty.
Federal investigators began their probe into his allegations last year. Gore is the first person to be charged. Recently, the home and offices of local businessman and Gray supporter Jeffrey Thompson were searched by federal agents.
Since that raid, it appeared the investigation had shifted from Brown’s allegations to the apparent use of money orders to circumvent campaign donation limits.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the charges, but court records show Gore gave three separate money orders totaling $535 to Candidate B.
A spokesperson for Gray, who is in Las Vegas attending the annual shopping center convention, did not immediately return requests for comment. Robert Bennett, Gray’s lawyer, won’t comment on whether he’s been in touch with Gray.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” he said. “Neither the Mayor, or I, will be making any statements.”