Last Friday Mayor Vince Gray newsdumped a report detailing how his private transition fund raised and spent $1 million, with mystery former Gray campaign aide Howard Brooks getting a $34,500 slice of the pie.
Brooks, you may recall, has been accused by Sulaimon Brown of being the bag man for the Gray campaign and literally stuffing cash into Brown’s pockets in exchange for attacking then-incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty. Since Brown’s accusations went public, Brooks has been stone-silent, even up to the point of pleading the fifth instead of appearing before a council committee.
According to newly released report, Brooks was paid over a four and a half month period, which means his annualized salary would have been $92,000.
So what work did Brooks do for that kind of green? “Pushing paper,” says Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro.
Brooks spent his days behind a desk processing invoices and doing other administrative work related to the transition, Ribeiro says. Asked about Brooks’ rather high payments for doing rather simple tasks, Ribeiro notes that Brooks didn’t get any benefits like health insurance. Ribeiro could have added, but didn’t, that Brooks’ salary rate looks downright paltry compared to what some Gray aides were paying themselves early on in the administration. (Worth noting: Brooks was paid another $44,000 from Gray’s mayoral campaign.)
Lorraine Green, Gray’s former campaign and transition chair, says in an email to LL that she didn’t know what Brooks’ specific job duties were with the transition. But she says that he was in the “transition office every day when it was open.” An A for attendance!
Green, of course, has also been accused of wrongdoing by Brown—something she has denied.
After l’affaire Sulaimon broke last year, Gray sought to create some distance between himself and Brooks. He said, on several occasions, that he’d not spoken to Brooks the entire “calendar year,” which we now know includes the two and half months that Brooks was pushing paper for Hizzoner in 2011.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery