‘Shadow campaign’ architect close to reaching plea deal

WASHINGTON – A years-long federal probe surrounding D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has taken a significant turn less than one month before the primary election in the mayoral race.

According to The Washington Post, a plea agreement is imminent for Jeffrey Thompson, a central figure in the investigation. Federal prosecutors view Thompson as the architect behind the so-called “shadow campaign,” an off-the-books effort meant to drum up support for Gray during his run for mayor in 2010.

Thompson allegedly funneled more than $650,000 into the campaign. The investigation has been ongoing for about three years.

Numerous associates of Gray and Thompson have already pleaded guilty to a variety charges stemming from the circumvention of campaign finance laws, but Gray himself has denied any wrongdoing.

Gray is running for re-election and faces a crowded primary on April 1. If Thompson were to plea guilty before the primary, any details of the case released could better inform voters before they head to the polls.

Prosecutors have not charged Gray of any crime.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on Facebook.

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