D.C.

Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams' chief of staff pleads guilty in Jeffrey Thompson corruption case

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Kelvin Robinson is the latest to plead guilty to conspiracy in the ongoing probe into D.C. campaign corruption involving money man Jeffrey Thompson.

Kelvin Robinson, former chief of staff to former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, leaves D.C. court after pleading guilty to conspiracy on June 3, 2014. (Photo: Sam Ford/WJLA)

Robinson is the former chief of staff to former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

Robinson pleaded guilty in D.C. court on Tuesday to conspiracies involving two of his own D.C. city council campaigns - the first as an at-large candidate, and secondly as a Ward 6 candidate against incumbent Tommy Wells in 2010. Well has since denounced Thompson:

"We need to clean up our politics and clean up our government. And so this is another example where the city's largest contractor was trying to buy a city council for himself."

Robinson admitted that in each case, Jefferey Thompson and his assistant, Jeanne Clarke Harris, spent more than $30,000 in unreported funds to pay for yard signs, campaign posters and direct mailings on behalf of Robinson.

In his plea, Robinson admitted he knew those actions were illegal.

Robinson is set to be sentenced on Aug.13. He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Jeffrey Thompson has long been suspected of funding what prosecutors called a $653,000 "shadow campaign" for Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010.

Thompson was charged in March with conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and submit false filings to the Internal Revenue Service, and conspiring to violate district campaign finance laws.

Many suspect Mayor Gray knew about the shadow campaign, though Gray has staunchly denied any knowledge.

Several of Thompson's other associates have also pleaded guilty in federal court, including two who worked on Gray's 2010 campaign.

Two other associates pleaded guilty to making straw contributions to political candidates on his behalf, and another acknowledged using illicit funds to help Hillary Rodham Clinton run for president in 2008. The cases outlined Thompson's extensive financial backing of his favored candidates for federal, state and local office.

The scandal undoubtedly tainted Gray's re-election campaign. Gray lost the Democratic Primary to Councilwoman Muriel Bowser in April.

In court papers that the U.S. Attorney released at the time of Jeffrey Thompson’s plea, numerous unnamed council candidates and sitting members were accused of illegal deals with Thompson. Now that Robinson is named, the question is how many others are involved?

As the scandal revolving around Jeffrey Thompson continues , ABC7 has learned that a federal judge has approved his leaving the country to go this week to his native Jamaica and see his ailing mother. She is 95 years old.

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