Vincent Gray Donor Eugenia Clarke Harris Pleads Guilty To Illegal Campaign Contributions

07/10/2012 06:05 pm ET
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WASHINGTON -- A local public relations consultant pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to charges that she helped facilitate a campaign finance scheme that illegally steered $653,000 to the benefit District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.

In Eugenia Clarke Harris' plea agreement, federal prosecutors acknowledged the existence of a shadow campaign to elect Gray, The Washington Post reports.

An assistant U.S. attorney, according to the Examiner, said Gray's campaign used the unreported funds to boost its get-out-the-vote efforts.

Harris, who admitted guilt in one of the largest straw donation schemes in D.C. campaign politics, was not alone, according to prosecutors.

The Post reports:

Prosecutors have not publicly identified the co-conspirator, but three persons familiar with the probe have said the person is Jeffrey E. Thompson, owner of two companies that do significant D.C. government business. Thompson has not been charged.

Two other Gray campaign aides have previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2010 campaign's operations.

A statement of offense, according to DCist, said that "Harris also attempted to destroy evidence of the scheme, and lied on her tax returns to conceal the fact that she was using two of her businesses to funnel money to the shadow campaign."

Harris' guilty plea was not the only legal proceeding involving the mayor on Tuesday. Washington City Paper notes that Gray was in court giving a deposition related to a federal probe into a D.C. Lottery contract.

Gray, who has denied the various allegations, did not make public comments on the matter on Tuesday.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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