A former campaign aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) was sentenced yesterday to 24 months of probation for lying to federal investigators about payments made to one of Gray's opponents in the 2010 mayoral campaign.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered Brooks also to perform 200 hours of probation and to get permission from the probation office before he works in any way for a political campaign. Brooks had faced a maximum of six months in jail, but prosecutors agreed to ask for probation because of his cooperation.
Brooks, who worked on the Gray campaign's finance and treasury teams, pleaded guilty on May 24 to lying to the FBI about payments made to one of Gray's competitors, Sulaimon Brown. Brown went public about the payments after the election, in which Gray defeated incumbent Adrian Fenty. Brooks told investigators he didn't know about the payments, when in fact he was the one delivering the money to Brown, according to court filings.
During the hearing, Brooks' attorney, Venable partner Glenn Ivey, asked the court to rely on the U.S. attorney's request for probation. In his prepared statement, Ivey pointed to the "herculean efforts Mr. Brooks has made to right his wrongs," from pleading guilty to his cooperation.
Ivey declined to comment following the hearing. The U.S. attorney's office, through spokesman William Miller, also declined to comment because "the investigation is ongoing."
Brooks was one of three people involved with the 2010 campaign to plead guilty to wrongdoing to date. Thomas Gore, the assistant treasurer for Gray's campaign in 2010, pleaded guilty on May 23 before Kollar-Kotelly to violating campaign finance laws related to the payments to Brown and obstructing the FBI investigation. A scheduling hearing hasn't been set so far but Gore is due back in court for a status conference on December 12.
In July, Eugenia Harris, the owner of a local public relations company, pleaded guilty to funneling $653,800 to a shadow campaign in 2010 that was supporting Gray and then trying to hide it from investigators. A status conference is scheduled for October 24, again before Kollar-Kotelly.
Gray has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but an investigation by the U.S. attorney's office into his 2010 campaign is ongoing.