District Crisis: U.S. Attorney speaks on DC shadow campaign

WASHINGTON (WUSA9/AP) -- A press conference was held on Monday after a plea hearing on Monday in which Jeffrey Thompson, the man behind the shadow campaign in the 2010 DC Mayoral Election, pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges.

Thompson also said the current DC Mayor, Vincent Gray knew about the off-the-books "shadow campaign" during his 2010 bid for mayor.

Gray has denied the accusations by federal prosecutors.

STORY: District Crisis: DC Mayor denies knowledge of shadow campaign

In a press conference around 6:15 p.m. on March 10, Ronald C. Machen, United States Attorney said Thompson's case has pulled back the curtain on the widespread corruption taking place in DC elections.

VIDEO: U.S. Attorney defends Thompson's plea deal

"Since 2006, Jeff Thompson has hatched backroom deals with a series of candidates and political opportunists to secretly finance their campaigns. Thompson and his co-conspirators, through different companies, have attempted to hide the source of the funds as being Mr. Thompson, to get around the limit of the wealthy from controlling our elections and keep voters in the dark," said Machen.

Machen said Thompson has admitted to secret payments of nearly $2 million in connection to two mayoral and six D.C. Council candidate races over a five-year period.

The secret payments began in the 2006 DC Mayoral race. Thompson gave Michael Brown $200,000 upfront to drop out of the Mayor's race and also created a $150,000 consulting contract which would take place over the next year. He was not the only candidate who Thompson supported, Machen noted during the briefing.

"In 2010, Thompson funded two D.C. Council shadow campaigns, a $26,000 campaign in Ward 6 and a $140,000 campaign in Ward 1," said Machen. "In 2010, DC voters went to the ballot box never knowing that one mayoral campaign was financing another. And that under the table deals concealed $650,000 in secret corporate funding for Mayoral candidate Gray's campaign."

Machen also noted that Thompson admitted on Monday that his campaign finance crimes extended to other states.

The collective message by Machen during the press conference, he said is "If you participated in back room under the table deals with Jeff Thompson, I urge you to come forward now and own up to your conduct."

The Assistant Director-in-Charge for the FBI Washington field office, Valerie Parlave said, "The message is clear. You will not get away with it."

"No one is above the law and you will be held accountable," said Parlave.

Machen also said, "By owning up to what he did today, Jeff Thompson gives us an opportunity to turning the page from this sad chapter in District politics."


Thompson, Jeffrey - Signed Plea Agreement - March 2014

Thompson, Jeffrey - Signed Statement of Offense - March 2014

Thompson, Jeffrey E. - Stamped Information - March 2014


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