Mayor Gray: 'I did the best job I could'
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spent a third day defending himself from calls for his resignation Friday, saying that he did the best he could in a short window during his 2010 mayoral campaign.
Appearing on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel 8 Friday morning, Gray remained steadfast about keeping his job even after guilty pleas from three former campaign aides on campaign finance charges.
"People should remember...I was the one that called for the investigation." Gray said of the examination of what former campaign aide Jeanne Harris called a "shadow campaign."
Three D.C. councilmembers are calling on Gray to resign amid the investigation. Others on the council have urged Gray to discuss the investigation more openly.
"I was in a situation where I had a full time job as a council chairman," he said. "I did the best job I could running a campaign in a very short period of time."
Gray says he supported a lawful campaign.
Earlier this week, Harris, a longtime associate, pleaded guilty to running a shell campaign for Gray during the 2010 election. She is the third person connected to his campaign who has pleaded guilty to criminal charges. Prosecutors say Harris funneled $653,000 in unreported funds from a co-conspirator to Gray's campaign.
Two of Gray's top campaign aides, Howard Brooks and Thomas Gore, also pleaded guilty earlier this year to obstructing justice and lying to the FBI about paying another mayoral candidate, Sulaimon Brown, to criticize then-mayor Adrian Fenty.
U.S. Attorney Ron Machen said Wednesday the 2010 mayoral campaign was “corrupted." However, some D.C. residents aren't ready to see Gray step down.
"I think the jury's out in how complicit he was in this and I also think that he's not doing a bad as mayor," Washington resident Kate Winthrop said. "I think he's really being sidetracked by these issues."
When asked why he can’t share what he knows, Gray said that it is because the investigation is continuing to unfold. He did say that he has talked about aspects of his fundraising campaign, but has been directed by his lawyer not to share more than that.
Calling the situation he is in now "difficult," Mayor Gray skirted addressing any direct issues, saying "we do have a pending, ongoing investigation."
On the issue of Jeffrey Thompson fundraising for his campaign, Gray said: "He raised money...they were taken to the campaign office" and reported properly.
Gray worked to defend his time in office, touting the work he has done for the city, as well as those with disabilities.
Of his recent business trip to China, Gray said: "We went there to try to generate other opportunities for the city."
"There's some real development opportunities for the city," he said.
ABC 7's Yasmeen Alamiri contributed to this report.
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