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D.C. campaign finance office to audit Orange contribution records

The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance has launched a “random audit” of Council member Vincent B. Orange’s 2011 election campaign to try to determine whether it was in compliance with city laws.

 Wesley Williams, a spokesman for OCF, said the agency requested earlier this month that Orange provide more details about his campaign fundraising and spending. Orange (D-At large) submitted the information Tuesday, Williams said.

 Williams described the audit as routine, but it comes as Orange is addressing questions about $26,000 in contributions he received in the form of money orders and cashiers checks last March.

Orange said Jeffrey E. Thompson, the city’s largest contractor, raised the money for him. Federal law enforcement officials raided Thompson’s home and office earlier this month as part of an ongoing investigation into District campaign finance activities.

 Orange said he concluded over the weekend that the money orders and cashiers checks he received from Thompson were “suspicious and questionable” because many were in sequential order and contained similar handwriting.   

 After he filed his campaign finance report last March, OCF requested that Orange send it additional information about the money orders. He said OCF reviewed the information and didn’t raise any questions at that time, so he assumed the contributions adhered to District laws.  

Orange said Monday he now welcomes further review by OCF.

Williams declined further comment, noting OCF audits are confidential until they are completed.

With only 17 employees in the agency, OCF audits can take up to a year. Orange is seeking reelection in the April 3 Democratic primary.

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