Things just keep getting worse for Mayor Vince Gray.
Howard Brooks, who worked as an aide both for Gray’s campaign and transition, has been charged in federal court on a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI. The type of court filing used indicates that Brooks will almost certainly plead guilty, which is hardly a surprise considering he very likely wore a wire and helped the FBI in their investigation.
Brooks first broke onto the scene last spring, when an angry and recently unemployed Sulaimon Brown took a wild story about being paid with cash to run for mayor, then promised a city job, to the Washington Post. Brown told the Post that Brooks and Gray’s campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green gave him cash-stuffed envelopes in return for attacking then-Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail. It turns out, we all know by now, that Brown wasn’t kidding.
From the beginning Brooks seemed to know he was in trouble. Check out his apperance in that first Post story:
Brooks initially said he met Brown during town hall meetings and didn’t remember calling him. Told about the phone records, Brooks said that he talked to several candidates during the election and that he reached out to Brown to compliment him on his performance during a debate. “He came off the stage, and I told him how clever it was,” said Brooks, who declined to comment further without an attorney present.
Brooks went into lockdown mode after that. He didn’t talk to the press, and he skipped the D.C. Council’s public investigation of Brown’s claims. A month after the Post story ran, Brooks lied to FBI agents.
Yesterday, Gray’s de facto campaign treasurer Thomas Gore pleaded guilty to making illegal money order payments to Brown’s campaign with the help of “Person A,” who is almost certainly Brooks. The court records appear to indicate that when Gore and Person A talked on Sept. 22, 2011, about what to tell the FBI about the Sulaimon saga, the conversation was recorded.
All that cooperation has apparently led to a light charge, and probably a very light sentence. Brooks’ attorney, Glenn Ivey, was not immediately available for comment. He’s likely to appear in court tomorrow.
Brooks’ court records, after the jump:
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Photo by Darrow Montgomery