WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray reiterated Friday morning that he won't resign despite calls for him to step down after a third person from his 2010 campaign pleaded guilty to federal charges this week.
During an interview with News Channel 8's "NewsTalk With Bruce DePuyt," the mayor didn't expand much beyond the comments he's made in recent days about the "shadow campaign" that federal prosecutors have said illegally steered more than $650,000 to an effort to boost Gray's chances to oust then-Mayor Adrian Fenty (D).
During his interview with DePuyt, Gray was judicious with what he said about the ongoing investigation and the recent guilty pleas stemming from the federal probe, reiterating numerous times that he and his lawyers want the investigation to run its course. "We hope this will come to a conclusion very soon."
The mayor admitted the tightrope he's walking in public.
"It's a tough line to walk," Gray said.
"Frankly, there would be things I would like to talk about," the mayor continued. "I know there are questions about this ... I have questions about this ... All these details will come out."
The mayor shot back at three members of the D.C. Council -- Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), David Catania (I-At-Large) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) -- who on Wednesday called on Gray to resign.
Gray said that Catania, who at one point this week said that "mayor has been reduced to a joke," was a "Republican turned Independent" who has never supported him.
"Bowser wants to be mayor," Gray said, citing ongoing chatter about her political ambitions. "I'm not surprised at all."
But Gray said he was disappointed by the call for resignation coming from Cheh, saying that as a constitutional scholar," the George Washington University professor should respect the principle of "innocent before being proven guilty."
The mayor has not been charged with a crime.
But Cheh, in her statement calling on Gray to resign, said:
Whether or not he knew of the massive election fraud that was taking place in his name, he is responsible for it. I cannot overemphasize the sadness that accompanies this action on my part.
Phil Mendelson, the D.C. Council's interim chairman, this week described the calls for the mayor to resigns as being premature. Mendelson, who was picked to lead the council after Kwame Brown (D) resigned and admitted guilt to federal bank fraud charges, would be the next in line to be mayor should Gray exit the post.
Mendelson told The Washington Post that he does not want to be mayor but is trying "to be ready for whatever I have to do."
The Post also notes that Gray has been trying to keep councilmembers' calls for his resignation to a minimum. Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), who has been a stauch supporter of the mayor, said she would not call for his resignation, according to the Post. Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) wants the mayor to come forward with a more detailed statement soon.
Former Mayor Marion Barry (D), who represents Ward 8 on the council, told the Examiner "Hell no" when asked about whether the current mayor should resign. "I believe in the judicial process. I believe in the Constitution."
Gray has urged the public to separate the activities from his campaign from the accomplishments of his administration, including a low crime rate, continued development and the city's stable fiscal house.
On Wednesday, the mayor told reporters that there were some problems with his 2010 bid for mayor. "This is not the campaign that we intended to run," he said without much elaboration, according to the Post.
"I wish I could have been in the campaign office more extensively," Gray told DePuyt on Friday.
This is a developing story ...
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