Vernon Hawkins, a close pal of Mayor Vince Gray, is expected to plead guilty tomorrow morning to lying to federal investigators. With his friend in trouble for trying to convince an alleged shadow campaign worker to leave town, would Gray break his long-standing, self-imposed ban on talking about the investigation?

Nope. Gray declined to comment about Hawkins to LL outside of a cabinet meeting at the newly remodeled Dunbar High School. “People will read in whatever they want to read in,” Gray says.

Between Jeanne Clarke HarrisThomas Gore, Howard Brooks, and now Hawkins, four people tied to Gray’s 2010 campaign will have either already plead guilty to various charges or, in Hawkins’ case, are about to plead.

The mayor claims that he isn’t concerned about what his continued silence would mean on the campaign trail, where any other candidate could bring up the investigation. “I’m not even focused on re-election issues right now,” the mayor says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery