A FORMER CAMPAIGN worker who says that he alerted D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) to suspicious activity during his 2010 primary campaign is “curious to hear” the mayor’s response to those claims. So, too, are many other people who are troubled by Mr. Gray’s continued silence. As the former aide said, the silence casts “a cloud over the mayor, and this city loses some of its credibility.”
If the city is to move on, Mr. Gray needs to be more forthcoming about his knowledge of the events of 2010.
Mr. Gray has declined to comment on allegations by David Dzidzienyo, reported by The Post’s Nikita Stewart and Mike DeBonis, that he questioned Mr. Gray in the summer of 2010 about the source of funding for a separate field operation headed by Vernon E. Hawkins, a longtime friend of Mr. Gray’s. He alleged that Mr. Gray’s response to his query about where the money was coming from for all the staff and supplies was to say that he didn’t want to hear about problems. Sources associated with Mr. Gray and his campaign said that the claims should be viewed with skepticism.
But there’s no questioning the evidence uncovered by federal authorities of a shadow campaign that used more than $650,000 of secret money, allegedly from a businessmen with significant city contracts, to help elect Mr. Gray. Discovery of that covert campaign resulted from what seemed to many at the time to be preposterous charges from Sulaimon Brown, a fringe mayoral candidate. The mayor has said that he did nothing wrong but has steadfastly refused to address specific allegations or answer questions about his dealings with Mr. Hawkins, who has not been charged, or associates who have been charged, such as public relations executive Jeanne Clarke Harris. Mr. Gray has said that it would be inappropriate to comment as long as the investigation by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. is ongoing.
The problem with that explanation is that Mr. Gray apparently isn’t talking to federal prosecutors, either. Sources told us that he has declined several requests for a meeting; Robert S. Bennett, the mayor’s attorney, declined to comment.
Mr. Gray recently said of the probe: “Obviously, we'd like to see it move on.” We agree, but there’s no reason Mr. Gray has to wait for Mr. Machen to complete his work before telling the citizens of Washington what they deserve to know.