Loose Lips

Gray to HTJ: Don’t Call Me

Mayor Vince Gray's close friendship with disgraced former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. isn't looking so hot at the moment.

Gray was asked by reporters yesterday if he's spoken to Thomas since he resigned from the council and plead guilty to stealing more than $350,000 in city funding. The mayor said no, and was then asked what he'd say to Thomas if given the chance.

"If he called me up, I'd want to know, what is he calling me for?" says Gray.

That's cold, Mr. Mayor, cold. Maybe Thomas would call you because he needs a friend.

Thomas, after all, was one of Gray's closest elected sidekicks during the 2010 mayoral run. And Gray often told voters that it would be a shame if Thomas didn't get more than 75 percent of the vote in the primary.

And even after Gray's own attorney general leveled a devastating civil lawsuit that became the backbone of the federal prosecutors' case against Thomas, Gray was still eager to offer a sympathetic ear. Here's what Gray told the Post last year after the civil suit was filed:

"[Thomas] to me seems a bit withdrawn at this stage. I don’t hear from him as much as I did. But I picked up the phone a couple of times and called him, because he is a friend. And I’m sorry that this happened, but he is somebody that I’ve known for a very long time, and I just don’t want to dump him out the window.”

What a difference a guilty plea makes.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Jes sayin’

    Y'all beat up on him for being too nice to HTJ.

    Now, you're beating up on him for not being nice enough.

    It's too easy, ain't it?

  • DJ Ren

    I think the point, Jes sayin'; is that Mayor Gray can't have it both ways. After pleading (pun intended) ignorance in the face of detailed evidence and a civil settlement, NOW the mayor wants to "get tough" with HTJ?

    Jes sayin'.

  • Holdadice

    C'mon LL.
    One day you show some gumption calling out WaPo and the next day you show some sleaze trying to second guess the Mayor. Being a friend and being mayor are not necessarily mutually compatible. It's the same thing with MB and his problems with DB-H (or whatever the initials are). Mayor Gray had to do what is best for the city, not what would be soothing to a friend. What WOULD HJT want if he called? To his credit, HJT "withdrew" from his usual interactions with Gray and had the grace to keep his distance during his interactions with the Feds. Could be a little embarassment on his part; could be the desire to avoid putting Gray on the spot and keeping him out of his troubles; could be a need to withdraw and lick his wounds in preparation for what lies ahead. Could be all of the above. Who knows? Give both of them some slack. Let's concentrate on rooting out the truth regarding some of the more egregious transgressions in city government. Past and Present.

  • Holdadice

    And Oh Yeah: A big difference in "Don't Call Me, HTJ" and
    wanting to know "why he would be calling", don't you think?

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Jordan

    Mayor Gray has told several not to call him since he has become Mayor. At least with HTJ their was a reason, others that threw Vince fundraisers and supported him he has done the same.

    Gray's concept of loyalty does not exist. Hell is not far for him either.

  • truth hurts

    Nice photo.

  • LastStop

    Word to the wise. If a friend of mine made the personal decision to break the law and become a felon, I don't think I'd be talking to them either. Adult decisions have adult consequences. That simple.

  • Holdadice

    @Jordan: Gray does not need me to defend his loyalty.
    Still, on the one hand he is criticized for being too loyal to the likes of Lorraine Green, HJT and others; and then on the other hand (AGAIN) being accused of "telling" others not to call him. I seriously doubt that to be true. Maybe those fundraisers expected more access to the EOM for their efforts and maybe they would have gotten it if things had not turned out the way they have.
    The Mayor is very busy holding onto the dignity many in the media have attempted to strip away. Somewhat akin to what was done to Marion Barry when he did not roll over and fetch when told to do so. I wouldn't be surprised to find that some of the very people you refer to are the very people who are adding to the man's woes. I have literally heard many of his "loyal" constituents speak ill of him recently. I have also been told that some of those loyalists were instrumental in helping the some of the media with it's quest for retribution after Gray made mockery of WaPo's endorsement of his opponent.

    Whatever! With friends/loyalists like those, who needs enemies? If what I heard is true (and I have no way of knowing for sure), Gray has made a wise decision of keeping them at a distance. He probably doesn't know whom he can trust at this point in his political career. Think about it. Many of the people he trusted to help him during his campaign while he was busy as Chairman of the Council have certainly created an aura of mis-trust.
    It must be more than lonely at the top. Glad to see he has found someone to spend quality private time with.

    Many of the silent majority in WDC are satisfied with what he is doing for the city and are more than amazed that he has been as productive as he has considering the sniping from all quarters: 'friend' and foe. His predecessor folded up his tent and ran home to upper NW or as some say, SE, when things got rough. Gray is standing his ground and standing tall while he does it.

    @LL: And YES, a guilty plea makes quite a difference; especially since one is innocent until one pleads or is proven guilty of malfeasance in the good ole USA.

  • drez

    In an odd way I agree with this:
    He probably doesn't know whom he can trust at this point in his political career. Think about it. Many of the people he trusted to help him during his campaign while he was busy as Chairman of the Council have certainly created an aura of mis-trust.
    It must be more than lonely at the top.

    It's as simple as the fact that HTJ (among others) were useful as crooks, but are not useful as a felons.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Jordan

    Vince did have a few friends that warned him of the group that betrayed him. He was heavily warned during the campaign of Lorraine and her crew. He ignored us and allowed harm to those that warned him.

    His response to any reporter should have been no comment. I have not heard Marion say anything in regards to HTJ recently. The concept of loyalty goes quite deep of how he is running the government. Fenty staff and contracts of Fenty supporters are still in place and that honestly demonstrates a lack of loyalty for those that elected him.

    I think his approval rating speaks for its self for what the city thinks of his wonderful job he and his admonistration is pulling off. Is it at 34 percent? The push for the RECALL also speaks volumes of his performance.

    The level of leadership is and technically has been missing for quite some while.

    Not all of DC should be penalized because he lacks judgement of who his friends should be.

  • Holdadice

    @Jordan: Not a statistician, nor a politician. But the numbers regarding the poll are not sound according to those who know. Likewise, the recall is another example of sour grapes from the Fenty Fanatics. You know, like the sign-in effort? Sorry Jordan, you can't have it both ways. Either the Mayor was loyal to the leader of the shoulder pad brigade and her syncophants, or he just didn't believe you.

    However, I do agree with you on two points: He probably should have not commmented when baited to discuss HTJ and he most certainly should/should have weaned the Fenty staff and contracts.

    Still, and I must ask this question:


    I suspect she will pay much more dearly for any harm she inflicted on those that tried to warn him than the harm she caused. He certainly is paying dearly for her dearth of fealty.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold; and God please deliver me from the patient enemy. It seems that Ms. Green has more than you and the few friends to worry about. She is now at ther mercy of some of her hidden enemies, who are now more concerned about the very first law of nature: That of Self-Preservation.

    Again, what a tangled web you and the few friends weave. Even now, you hold it against him when it was you who were not able to make him see what was happening when he was busy trying to Chair the Counsel and run for office.
    Was Ms Green some temptress with mystical powers? Were you and the few friends complicit until you didn't get what you thought you deserved? The man is only human and there are none so blind as those who will not see. If I was a friend who was aware of what was going on, I would have hounded him until he did see.

  • HogWash

    @Jordan, a few things odd about your post.

    What Lorraine and others were technically found to have done is make bad HR decisions which ended up as bad PR for the mayor.

    The reality of their decisions is that they engaged in the standard practice of getting jobs for supporters, friends and yes, family. It happens in every single administration in every single corner of this country. It just does. It looks ugly, may seem unfair, but that is EXACTLY what happens and I challenge you to show me an instance where somebody didn't know somebody who may have know somebody...

    We can question the qualifications of the people hired but we most certainly can't question the practice. Check the previous administration's history of hiring close friends. I'm not knocking Fenty for doing it - just pointing out it happens.

    That said, please tell us specifically what Lorraine et. al DID that shows how they BETRAYED Gray. Making bad HR decisions don't amount to betrayal.

  • HogWash

    OTOH, I agree that he should've said no comment. But IMO, that's also how Gray talks.

    "I'd wanna know why" Just sounds like him.

    I would imagine that as a politician, HTJ wouldn't be "too" offended that the mayor would want to know why he (a soon-to-be jailed, currently disgraced, former CM) was calling.

    Criminal = Mayor

    Mmmmm, those two might not need to be speaking. And I don't care what city it's in. They know politics.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    Politically speaking, Gray needs to distance himself from htj. For the good of this city and his mayoralship.

    Even when I was working as a "lowly" secretary, there was a handbook that i subscribed to that advised you not to have work friends so that when "political" crap happened on your job---distant yourself from the fracas.

    I know it is hard to do, but those that do it have a better chance of surviving.

    This does not mean to "hand up" your lunch partner.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    I am so disappointed in Harry Thomas,sr,son I don't know what to do with myself.

    I will have to work on that and recover.

    People are human; however, there is price to pay.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper.com southeast lady

    I have lived in DC for 71 years. The formation of a city council and ward representation crap has been both a blessing and a curse. Granted I need my block, hood, neighborhood, whatever you choose to call it needs to be recognized. But there is so much room for mismanagment, lying, cheating and stealing that I am not sure if we are better off with a city council and ward representative than we were before it was instituted.

    Maybe I can go "downtown or uptown" and represent myself. After all, I pay taxes and the salaries of the people downtown.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Jordan

    Whats rather funny is everyone assumes that Gray just found out about HTJs criminal behavior. He was informed of HTJs criminal activity BEFORE he ran for office-

    He knew about this while he was Chair of the Council and should have distance himself from HTJ then. He didn't distance himself then because he thought it was necessary to use him then throw him away. This is why his comment was so distasteful.

    Look at Harold Brooks- Gray knew him enough to pay him 92k, borrow the man's car during parades yet when trouble comes around claims he did not know the man.

    Look at Suliamon Brown - I promised him an interview not a job! Now we have info of their being traces of payments and several cell phone calls

    Lets not forget about the battles lingering around Greater South East and how his girlfriend received 38k for lobbying him into selling it and converting it into a mental hospital.

    He betrayed many because he promised us all that he was going to bring integrity back to the District.

    Gray not taking ownerships to his mistakes and blaming EVERYONE else makes him a Mayor we all will wanna forget.

    We will always remember Barry because he took ownership of his mistakes and accomplishments. Who can say Gray is doing that? Thats why he will always be questioned as a Mayor and as a decent human being.

    Thanks Guys!!

  • Holdadice

    @Jordan: If you were aware Gray knew about HTJ's criminal activity before he took office it stands to reason you knew it too. Another strike against you as a 'friend' who tried to warn him of future problems.

    According to the report I read, Howard Brooks was not paid $92k. I beleive it was a total of about $77k.

    Do you seriously believe candidate Gray had time to personally "borrow" cars for his parades? More than likely Mr Brooks takes great pride in his "toys" and offered it.

    I also seem to remember:

    Only 2 phone calls between S. Brown and Gray.

    Linda Greene was not in a relationship when she was paid 38k.

    The Mayor did take ownership by quoting Harry S. Truman's "The Buck Stops Here."

    Integrity bespeaks of values and unity. Not an easy promise to keep with people like you and the current crop of haters in his camp.

    It appears to me YOU are the one who is not taking accountablilty for mistakes. WHAT DID YOU AND THE 'FEW' FRIENDS DO TO WARN THE MAN?

    The one thing you HAVE done for Mayor Gray in your comments is get more support for him from those of us who are dismayed by the character of those people who considered themselves his 'few' friends.

  • Holdadice

    @Jordan: And Oh Yeah, I'd go a little light on impying I knew about HTJ's criminal activity. I think that got at least two people felonies charges because they did not report it to the Feds.

  • Holdadice


  • SEis4ME

    @Jordan, the emperor has no drawz on!

    Initially, your grip was that Gray ignored people who told him that his close friends were going to betray him. Now your next gripe is that he was betraying people and covering up for a CM's crimes even before Gray decided to run. Then it's disappointment with the fact that the man whom you knew was ignoring a crime, didn't take your sage counsel and ultimately failed to bring integrity back to DC. Then it's because Gray never owns up to his mistakes - unlike Marion Barry.

    And you want us to believe that you "befriended" and continued to provide counsel to a man who ignored criminal activity? And this is your argument? YOU knew he was covering up even before he ran for office.

    Eh, uhm, er, I'm gonna assume that with the amount of inside knowledge you have about this, you have been subpoenaed yes?

  • cutthecrap

    @Jordan: What you need to do is let Holdadice and others get burnt by the Mayor and then they will be singing a different tune. Many a Washingtonian have taken up for Vince until they got the shaft. The slogan should be "One Chance", not One City. You get one chance, and if you fuck up, you're out! Hell, DC will never get statehood, voting rights, and budget autonomy because of losers like Holdadice, Hogwash, and others who think he is doing a good job.

  • MK

    Vincent Gray is a complete joke. The only upside to an incompetent mayor and city council is that DC Statehood won't happen anytime soon.

  • SEis4ME

    The slogan should be "One Chance", not One City. You get one chance, and if you fuck up, you're out! Hell

    And you would have it some other way?

    Like, fyck up and continue life as usual?

    Hell, DC will never get statehood, voting rights, and budget autonomy because of losers like Holdadice, Hogwash, and others who think he is doing a good job

    If DC's statehood rights are governed by the success or not of its mayor, then what's the excuse why it didn't happen under Williams and Fenty?

    You too, are a nutcase.

  • Progentrification

    Throw them all out.

  • Cat Like

    I think it is different because we now Know what he did now. I was one of those Facebook friends who said poor Thomas when he plead guilt. Thinking it was a stupid idiot maneuver.

    Then I read the 20 plus page report. And you have a hard time feeling any sympathy for this man.

    And there is a big difference from hearing about something and seeing it in black and white.

  • Holdadice

    @cutthecrap: Ditto on what SEis4Me said. If all of the people who worked on the campaign were expecting some personal favor from the Mayor-elect it's a sad time for DC politics. It would be foolish to shaft somebody who did it as a civic duty. (And whatever you want to say about him, Gray is not a foolish man). Will you find fault with any success he might achieve with Statehood? You come across the same way the disrespectful fire fighters did; the way the member of congress came across at Obama's firt SOU address: Nitpicking and dogmatic. As a citizen who voted for the winning candidate, 'loser' is hardly an accurate term to describe me and you know nothing else about me on which to base your knee-jerk rhetoric. Even when the candidate I backed lost an election, I was still respectful of the fact he/she won and was never disdainful and hoping for his/her failure. You and progentrification are of the same ilk, though I doubt you share the same motive for seeking change. Progentrification probably has a hidden agenda for wanting to throw them all out, while you come across as one who didn't get what he thought he would after the election. The man wasn't in office long enough to be briefed on very important matters that only those at the top are aware of before the media started hounding him about nonentities normally handled by staff. The conspirators have you and your ilk to do thier dirty work for them. Just like the poor unenlightened slaves who believed Massa had their best interests at heart when he smiled at them and patted them on the head for turning against their own. Wake up and smell the coffee haters, it's later than you think.

  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    He got a nerve to turn his back on anyone, especially since HJT (wrong w/ the crime) helped his red ugly ass win Ward 5 votes, and advocated for thia non leader of DC

  • cutthecrap

    @Holdadice: Your name should be holdadick...because that's what you are doing; holding the Mayors dick. I hope you wash your hands afterword because that is one dirty dick.

  • Holdadice

    My, my, my Respected Citizens NOT. Respected citizens don't disparage their elected leaders. Last I heard, HJT
    was busy pilfering $$$ from kids before, during, and after the campaign. Did he have time to advocate for anyone but himself? The way I understand it the success in Ward 5 was attributed to the hard work of Mr. & Mrs. Mobley. Look, I feel sorry for the entire Thomas family, but this Vince Gray bashing is just what the progentrifiers want us to do. And unfortunately,you're all drinking the kool-aid. A lot of sad sack Blacks are like Pogo: "I have seen the enemy and he is us."

  • Holdadice

    @crap: It is your hands that type your gutter filth that are dirty. I'd hate to think about the difficulty those dirty little hands have cutting the crap to find that little thing you either broke or never had. Grow up and learn to use this forum for the good of the city and not the inflated sense of entitlement so many of you seem to possess.

  • Truth hurts

    Vince isn't abandoning his bff. Just asking what he's calling about. Geez.

  • Holdadice

    @Th: Wonder if Gray really has any bff(s). Seems as if so many of his so called friends are very shallow.

    Wouldn't you want to know why HJT was calling?

  • leeshato

    Mr. Gray is doing with what most of us in this city are doing ehen I first heard the charges I thought that it was politcall motivated so i supported him. When it ran the course and he admitted he had stolen. I am certainly not going to sit around and be friends with him. He did wrong and know he has to pay the price. We all respected his father and that is the reason he was able to get the seat.No one is going to be associated with someone who was caught stealing government funds that where for the youth in this city.I think this forum is being used for the wrong purpose.Public servants need to serve the public or they will be disgrace and removed fron office.

  • cutthecrap

    What you all need to remember is Mayor Gray is still under investigation (hence, holding a dirty dick). I'd love to hear the tune you all will be singing (out of key) when the investigation shows foul play on his part.

  • Holdadice

    @crap: We could take you much more seriously if you had the grace to say "if" and not "when", Do you posit you have some pre-ordained insight into what has yet to be concluded by the investigation? Magical thinking is for the very young. And as I so often counsel my grandchildren, wishing does not make it so.

    If, in fact it is detemined that Mayor Gray is found to be involved in criminal activity, my position will be the same as for all other brothers who find themselves in such a predicament. I hope that they get fair trials and if they plead, I hope that they have excellent legal counsel. The criminal justice system ain't never been no crystal stair for the Black man in America. And as I suggest you and your cohorts remember: A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in America. Even so history is replete with Black men being lynched or castigated before having their day in Court. A question for you: What will you say and what tune will you be singing if the investigation clears him?: "I'm Sorry"?or "Ain't That a Kick in (YOUR) Head"?

    Why are you so anxious to see another Black man be disgraced unless you really know the man is guilty. If you do know, then according to the law, you're just as guilty as he.

    Finally, what is the nexus of your fascination with manual manipulation of the male anatomy? And even more interesting, one that is "dirty"?

  • seDCdude

    Ignore the in thread shit bird cvm de la quoi TROLL cutcrap, who's only motive is to holla like a damn fool what "hims" heard or was told, not nair' fact, just emotional malarky spewed from a retard! "Hims"heard sits on da sidelines wishing and hoping to have a clue as to what the dialogue between ENLIGHTENED bloggers is really all about....IDIOT!

    Sit down, STFU and pay attention cutcrap

  • Ronnie

    We've already gotten our "told you so" card. All this is just gravy. Gray "turned" as soon as he got his fingers into the dirty money after his first Ward 7 election. While the told-you-so's feel great, the circumstances aren't good for our city. Pray something happens for him to leave office soon, and for someone to step forward that isn't tainted and isn't afraid to continue the work of Williams and Fenty.

  • Holdadice

    @Ronnie: It must be a sad existence for a bunch of dodo's to post they feel great because they have a "told you-so" card. Even more stupid is praying "something happens for our elected Mayor to leave office soon". Aren't things bad enough already in DC politics. Why in the world would intelligent, supposedly civilized people want more confusion for this city?


    Fenty untaianted and unafraid??? Ignoramuses....pulleez!!