POLITICS

Vincent Gray gave Sulaimon Brown talking points, source says

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Gray tapped into widespread dissatisfaction with Fenty - especially in the city's poorer, majority-black wards - to oust the first-term mayor by more than 13,000 votes, or 10 percentage points. Brown received 209 votes in the primary out of nearly 134,000. He used the catchphrase, "Go Brown, go Gray, go any color but Fenty."

Fenty did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Brown handed over the document this summer in a meeting with members of the U.S. Attorney's office, according to the person who spoke to the AP. Brown declined to comment on the document. It was not immediately clear who authored the talking points.

After Gray took office in January, Brown was hired for a $110,000-a-year job in the district's Department of Health Care Finance despite questions about his background, which includes an attempted murder charge as a teenager - he was acquitted - a poor credit history and a spotty resume. He was fired less than a month later, with administration officials citing inappropriate office behavior.

Brown then went public with his allegations that he was paid by members of Gray's campaign chairwoman, Lorraine Green, and her friend, Howard Brooks, who handled financial matters for the campaign. Brown said Gray was aware of the payments, but he has not accused the mayor of handing him cash.

The D.C. Council conducted a lengthy fact-finding probe of Brown's allegations and concluded that Brown was paid at least $1,160 by Brooks and was promised a job in the administration.

Brown told the Council that on one occasion, Gray told him, "Howard has something for you," and that Brooks then handed him an envelope with cash inside. Gray has denied that allegation, and the Council found that Brown's claims that Gray was aware of the payments were "not credible."

Bennett, Gray's attorney, said Brown's allegation about the talking points must be relatively new since Brown did not make the accusation in the initial flurry of interviews he gave shortly after his firing or at his appearance before the Council.

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