Loose Lips

Gray Spokesman: Mystery Man Pushed Paper at $92,000-a-year Rate

Last Friday Mayor Vince Gray newsdumped a report detailing how his private transition fund raised and spent $1 million, with mystery former Gray campaign aide Howard Brooks getting a $34,500 slice of the pie.

Brooks, you may recall, has been accused by Sulaimon Brown of being the bag man for the Gray campaign and literally stuffing cash into Brown's pockets in exchange for attacking then-incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty. Since Brown's accusations went public, Brooks has been stone-silent, even up to the point of pleading the fifth instead of appearing before a council committee.

According to newly released report, Brooks was paid over a four and a half month period, which means his annualized salary would have been $92,000.

So what work did Brooks do for that kind of green? "Pushing paper," says Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro.

Brooks spent his days behind a desk processing invoices  and doing other administrative work related to the transition, Ribeiro says. Asked about Brooks' rather high payments for doing rather simple tasks, Ribeiro notes that Brooks didn't get any benefits like health insurance.  Ribeiro could have added, but didn't, that Brooks' salary rate looks downright paltry compared to what some Gray aides were paying themselves early on in the administration.  (Worth noting: Brooks was paid another $44,000 from Gray's mayoral campaign.)

Lorraine Green, Gray's former campaign and transition chair, says in an email to LL that she didn't know what Brooks' specific job duties were with the transition. But she says that he was in the "transition office every day when it was open." An A for attendance!

Green, of course, has also been accused of wrongdoing by Brown—something she has denied.

After l'affaire Sulaimon broke last year, Gray sought to create some distance between himself and Brooks. He said, on several occasions, that he'd not spoken to Brooks the entire "calendar year," which we now know includes the two and half months that Brooks was pushing paper for Hizzoner in 2011.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Drez

    So what work did Brooks do for that kind of green? "Pushing paper envelopes stuffed with cash"
    There. I fixed it for you.

  • anon

    This town is full of people who push paper for six figures. You have no idea how many "consultants" and "contractors" I've worked with in this town who make 100K and more and whose entire job is literally taking minutes at meetings and sending out email meeting notifications, jobs a middle schooler could do with equal efficiency.

  • truth hurts

    One City was hoping the media would forget about this. Did you ask why Charles was paid via his LLC? Rather than directly?

    I'm guessing it was done that way to avoid attachment by various judgment creditors and lien holders (eg, the approx 250k he owed Illinois for unpaid taxes).

  • Drez

    If you check posted positions at the DC HR site paper pushers tend to start at $35-$60K, depending on how complex the duties are.
    Executive secretaries, accountants, etc of course make more.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    I mean, c'mon, they paid RVB $37K to do even less.

  • CG

    I'm far from a Gray apologist - but why should anyone really care how the private transition fund, which I presume is not supported on the basis of taxpayer dollars, spent its money? As another poster said, doofuses in this town have made more doing less.

  • 11th

    @anon: yes, concur.

    @CG: because it's just bizarre that the transition funds are completely unregulated. a developer with interest before the city can give all kinds of $ to the transition fund with no real oversight. gray tacitly admitted this by saying he would be open and transparent, but then wasn't. it all stinks more now that the folks pocketing lots of his transition cash for really unknown transition work have fallen under pretty serious ethical Qs.

  • Drez

    Don't forget- he or a company he is principal in at the time had a 10 million $ lawsuit against UMC- and that he was bagman to someone who was placed in an auditor's position concerning UMC.
    What are the odds?

  • DJ Ren


    What a complete joke.

  • Kevin

    Just to be clear on this, local mystery man Brooks was using private transition funds to do desk work on behalf of the transition. Shocking! This must be the reason the campaign waited so long to be open and transparent.

  • A dude

    So the Transition Chair didn't know Howard Brooks' responsibilities. She is either lying or incredibly incompetent or both.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Jordan

    But Mayor Vince Gray stated previously that he does not remember Harold Brooks on the campaign trail. Lorraine is a liar, she and Harold Brooks have been lovers for a long time. What a mess!!

  • http://yahoo Yvonne Smith

    What about Judy Banks? She was very involved with Ms. Greens & she purgered herself twice before the DC City Council. Is the Inspector Generals' office still deciding what to do about her situation?

  • Drez

    I wonder how that lawsuit turned out...

  • Leelah James

    This is not a story. Worse has happened during this administration. I'm all for holding people accountable for doing their job, no matter what how much they earn.

  • SISM16

    The hits just keep coming

  • SISM16

    Stand by.... The snowball has crested the hill and is gaining momentum. The FEDS are getting ready to come out with the 2nd round of 'WE GOTCHAs". And hold on to your panties cause there might be another round of special elections. For "THE SEAT" if you know what I mean. Also top Fire Brass might have some explaining to do over harassment claim... Very found of the rear ends
    Have a Blessed Day

  • Tformation

    Lol @ Dres... That was cute. A good one. Lol

    This must be a slow news day. The way the headline ran, I thought he was PAID 90,000. So basically, you are telling us that an employee who worked on the transition team, was paid 35,000 as a paper pusher from the transition team. Oooooh, the scandles keep a'coming don't they. Wow!

  • drez

    $34K from the Transition team and $44K from the campaign.
    To be fair, it's possible that most of that ended up paying his lawyers bills.