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The federal pursuit of D.C. Council candidates accused of getting illicit help from shadow campaign financier Jeff Thompson continues. After scoring a guilty plea from one-time at-large hopeful Kelvin Robinson earlier this month, prosecutors filed a charge today accusing former Ward 1 candidate Jeff Smith of also covering up off-the-books aid from Thompson.
Smith, a former member of the District’s school board, ran in 2010 against Councilmember Jim Graham. Graham won easily, while Smith split the rest of the votes evenly with fellow Graham challenger Bryan Weaver.
Smith is charged with making a false statement in connection with Office of Campaign Finance reports about his campaign’s bank records. If convicted of the felony, Smith could spend as much as five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Smith, who’s listed online as the executive director of school reform group DC Voice, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Smith is expected in court sometime this afternoon.
According to the complaint, Thompson took money from both his accounting firm and the holding company for his Medicaid contractor which was then either spent by Smith’s campaign or by someone outside the campaign who was coordinating with it. While the complaint against Smith doesn’t list how much Thompson allegedly spent on the Ward 1 hopeful, Thompson admitted to illicitly spending $140,000 on a Ward 1 race in his guilty plea.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery