POLITICS

Former D.C. City Council candidate Jeff Smith sentenced to 60 days jail jail for accepting illegal campaign contributions from Jeffrey 'Uncle Earl' Thompson

Jeff Smith speaks during a video for his 2010 D.C. City Council campaign for the Ward 1 seat. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube/Jeff Smith for D.C. City Council)
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WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - A D.C. Superior Court judge has sentenced a former D.C. Council candidate to 60 days in jail for making false reports to the city's campaign finance office.

Jeffrey Thompson (Photo: Screenshot/C-SPAN)

Judge Anita Josey-Herring also ordered 40-year-old Jeff Smith to pay $10,000 in fines Thursday. Smith also will spend one year on probation and must complete 400 hours of community service.

In court, Josey-Herring said Smith used illegal means to gain a political advantage. She said he undermined the transparency of the election process.

Smith pleaded guilty in June to making false financial statements in his failed 2010 run against Council member Jim Graham.

Smith said businessman Jeffrey 'Uncle Earl' Thompson secretly funneled $140,000 to his campaign.

Prosecutors didn't oppose a light sentence, citing Smith's cooperation and lack of prior convictions.

Smith is one of two Council candidates to plead guilty to charges in recent months. Kelvin Robinson, 53, pleaded guilty on June 3 in D.C. Superior Court to a charge of conspiring to violate the city's campaign finance laws. He is awaiting sentencing.

In addition, former D.C. City Council member Michael A. Brown pleaded guilty to bribery charges stemming from secret contributions his campaign committees had received from from Thompson.

Outgoing Mayor Vincent Gray has also been accused of using illegal contributions from Thompson for his successful 2010 campaign. He is being investigated. Gray has staunchly denied any knowledge that Thompson - whom some claim Gray nicknamed "Uncle Earl" - was illegally funneling money into his campaign.

Thompson is the former chairman, chief executive officer, and majority owner of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates (TCBA), a corporation that provided accounting, management, consulting, and tax services. He also is the former chairman, chief executive officer, and owner of D.C. Healthcare Systems, Inc. (DCHSI), an investment holding and for-profit corporation. Both companies generated millions of dollars in government contracts.

Thompson pleaded guilty on March 10 to making illegal contributions to numerous federal and District of Columbia campaigns and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as he awaits sentencing.

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