City Desk

Vincent Gray Inquiry Finds No Wrongdoing


The Office of Campaign Finance, after reviewing allegations aired late last year concerning D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, has dismissed complaints against the now-mayoral-candidate.

One matter that the agency investigated was his engagement of William C. Smith & Co., a major developer engaging in various dealings with the city, to coordinate repair work on his Hillcrest home. The inquiry found that his "receipt of and payment for services and repairs to his home...was a transaction made at fair market value and in the ordinary course of business" and "that there was no evidence to suggest that the public official’s actions or vote would be influenced by WCS in exchange for the work performed in his home."

In the second matter—Gray's 2008 solicitation of Comcast to support voting rights activities at the Democratic National Convention—officials found that the letter, sent on council stationery was acceptable because the request "was not campaign related" and because Gray was "acting within his duties as Chairperson of the Council of the District of Columbia."

The finding will come as great relief to Gray, who has had to spend part of his first week as a mayoral candidate answering questions about the incidents. Still to be resolved: A permit dispute with the D.C. Department of Transportation over an unpermitted fence erected around his house.

UPDATE, 5:45 P.M.: One key fact on the home renovations: OCF consulted a number of contractors and the city itself to determine if Gray paid market value for the work. The agency concluded that Gray indeed paid a fair price.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Rick Mangus

    HOW COZY!, indeed, HOW COZY!


    I am still not impressed with Vincent Gray or Adrian Fenty. I might sit this election out or write in the name Moses.

  • Truth Hurts

    Mike, do you agree that the so-called "fair market price" was paid well AFTER the work was done and AFTER the Washington Times started asking questions about it? Oh, and to a contractor not licensed/permitted to do the work?

    News flash: Home improvement contractors demand up front deposits and/or payment in full upon completion of the work. Call these guys and ask whether they'll work on your home without a deposit. I'm guessing they won't.

  • Truth Hurts

    Mike, could you post the report?

  • LOL

    I agree with Truth, can you post the report?

    While I always enjoy your comments Truth, I do disagree a little.

    A very good family friend owns a home improvement business. I am a lawyer. We are good friends and do use each other for work without requiring each other paying deposits [in my case retainers].

    Now if they are long time friends, waiving up front money may not be that unusual. That being said, I do think your question about when payment came is really probative.

  • Truth Hurts


    I generally would have no problem with close friends and/or clients waiving up front money or otherwise bartering for exchange of goods/services. The difference between your scenario and Gray's matter, however, is that this home improvement outfit profits from large city contracts funded by tax dollars and also is a Gray campaign contributor.

    And I'm pretty certain invoices were submitted and payments made only after the work was done and the press began asking questions. DeBonis posted the invoices, etc, last year.

  • Wendy Glenn

    Yes, now MOVE ON!!!

  • noodlez


  • truelive

    The Citizens of Dc deserve someone whos not a yapper but a doer that will support the people and their issues positively. A leader that can create change that would benifit people in NE, SE, SW and lower incomes in the NW. Not someone who only cares about what tight suite he can wear to Mr. Charlies rich contribution party. THE EVERYDAY CITIZENS DESERVE BETTER THAN FEMTY, GRAY AND ALL THE OTHER CLOWNS WHO WANT FAME AND FORTUNE. MAYBE ITS TIME FOR A WHITE MAN TO TAKE THE OFFICE OF MAYOR. LETS SEE, MAYBE HE'LL LET THE "I THINK I'M RICH BLACKS , CHEAP LABOR INTENSIVE SPANISH AND THE I GOT IT ALL WHITES STAY IN THE CITY! IF YOU DON'T GOT IT, GET THE %%^$E$# OUT! FENTY SUCKED UP TO THEM AND LOOK WHAT HAPPEN? ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THIS ABUSE AGAIN AND AGAIN? CHOOSE SOME ONE THAT DOESN'T USE "I" WHEN HE OR SHE OPENS THEIR MOUTH TO SPEAK TO THE PUBLIC.

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