AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in on May 29.
The mayor of the nation's capital is facing calls to resign amid allegations that he knew money was spent illegally on his successful campaign for election in 2010.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that Mayor Vincent Gray met with longtime associate Jeanne Clarke Harris on Jan. 10 to discuss the expenditures. The Post said the disclosure was the first indication that Gray knew of the improper spending before federal raids on the homes and offices of Harris and Jeffrey E. Thompson in March.
NBCWashington.com reported that it had confirmed that the January meeting took place.
On Tuesday, Harris, 75, pleaded guilty in a case in which she was accused of helping foster a $653,000 shadow campaign for Gray in 2010. Harris, who was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiring to break campaign finance laws, could receive 30 to 37 months in prison, and a fine between $6,000 and $60,000.
She admitted to helping hide the spending of money by Thompson, who has not been charged in the case, the Post said.
Harris said she wasn't the person who came up with the plan, but she declined to say who had, NBCWashington.com said.
Three members of the D.C. Council called Wednesday for Gray's resignation, hours after Gray said he had "no plans" to step down, NBCWashington.com reported. The council members were Muriel Bowser, Mary Cheh and David Catania.
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"Whether or not (Gray) knew of the massive election fraud that was taking place in his name, he is responsible for it," said a statement from Cheh, who endorsed Gray in his 2010 campaign, NBCWashington.com reported.
Cheh had broken with her ward to endorse Gray for mayor in 2010. The vast majority of Ward 3 residents voted for incumbent Adrian Fenty. In an interview on NBC4 Wednesday evening, she said she was "very, very sad" to call for Gray's resignation.
Catania said the scandal is hurting the city.
"The legitimacy of the election was called into question by all this illegal money," Catania said Wednesday. "Gray should not be the beneficiary of that illegality. He needs to think about the best interest of the city."
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