Vincent Gray Inquiry Finds No Wrongdoing
UPDATED 5:45 P.M.
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