Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who says that there is “no merit” to allegations made by former mayoral candidate and fired employee Sulaimon Brown, said Wednesday he has led an “ethical life.”

Gray’s remarks came after he praised student athletes from Wilson High School and Sidwell Friends at his news weekly news conference.

Asked by TV reporter Tom Sherwood if he had advice for the young people considering recent allegations against him, Gray said, “I would invite them to lead the life that I have. That is an ethical life.”

During a D.C. Council hearing Monday, Brown alleged that Gray was directly implicated in payoffs and a promise of a job to Brown in last year’s election.

Brown first made the allegations, following his dismissal from a $110,000-a-year special assistant job earlier this year.

Gray again on Wednesday denied Brown’s allegations that he stepped outside Eatonville restaurant in August and said that a campaign consultant had “something for” Brown.

“It’s preposterous,” he said. “There were other preposterous statements” made at the hearing. He also said he did not direct funds to Brown.

The mayor said that public life hasn’t been “easy.”

“You’re very vulnerable to the accusations and the allegations and the motivations of other people,” he said. “Everything I’ve done I’ve tried to do with integrity.”

He had other advice for the young people: “Play with integrity on the field. Play with integrity in life.”