Mayor Vincent Gray supporters rally outside City Hall
(AP, ABC7) - Supporters of embattled D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray say he's been subjected to an unfair rush to judgment in the wake of guilty pleas by three of his campaign aides.
A few dozen people gathered outside city hall Wednesday for a rally in support of Gray organized by two politically active ministers.
The Rev. Willie Wilson told the crowd that wrongdoing might be found in any campaign subjected to the level of scrutiny that Gray's has received. It was revealed last week in federal court that Gray's election was aided by $650,000 in illicit funds from a prominent government contractor.
"I truly believe he had nothing to do with this insanity going on today," said supporter Dave Donaldson added.
Three D.C. Councilmembers have called on the mayor to resign. But Gray's supporters note that he hasn't been charged and shouldn't resign if he didn't know about the shadow campaign.
Rev. Wilson added, "I'm calling on those council person who have called on the resignation of the mayor to chill. Sit down."
Last week, longtime Gray associate Jeanne Harris 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.
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