Loose Lips

Howard Brooks Pleads Guilty

Gray campaign aide mystery man Howard Brooks is a mystery no more: Brooks appeared in federal court today to plead guilty to a single count of lying to the FBI.

But that's not all he did. Brooks admitted today in court that he was the bagman for the Gray campaign after it decided in the summer of 2010 that it was in their candidate's interest to pay an unemployed accountant with a criminal history named Sulaimon Brown to stay in the mayoral race and lob attacks at then-Mayor Adrian Fenty during campaign forums that were attended almost exclusively by voters who had already made up their minds.

Some highlights from what Brooks admitted to in court today:

  • In June 2010, Brooks met with an unidentified person and Thomas Gore, Gray's campaign treasurer, who pleaded guilty to obstructing justice on Tuesday. At that meeting Brooks "was instructed to make payments" to Brown, though court records don't say who did the instructing. After the hearing, Brooks' attorney said it wasn't Brooks' idea to pay Brown. LL's already named the unidentified person as campaign chairwoman and Gray's closest friend Lorraine Green.
  • Brooks gave Brown envelopes filled with both cash and money orders. Why these criminal geniuses felt the need to create a paper trail with money orders is a mystery not yet solved. We also don't know how much cash Brown got, but court records say that Brooks gave Brown 10 money orders worth a total of $2,810. Not all of that money was reported on Brown's campaign finance report.
  • Brown gets his insurance, or at least did in the summer of 2010, from GEICO: He sent one $150 money order Brooks gave him directly to the company.
  • Three days after getting the GEICO money and a $500 money order, Brown accused Fenty of not respecting his parents.
  • Gore and Brooks collaborated on a straw donor scheme. Gore gave Brooks four $500 money orders, which Brooks signed in the name of one of his friends. That friend's name fraudulently shows up in Gray's campaign finance report as having given $2,000. Gray's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what it plans on doing with that money. Gore also gave Brooks four other money orders that Brooks signed in his own name but never gave to the Gray campaign. Gray's campaign finance reports, however, fraudulently say he gave $2,000.
  • Brooks lied to his son. Brooks used his son's girlfriend's name on one of the money orders that he gave to Brown. When Brooks' son reminded him of this uncomfortable fact after Brown first went public with the allegations that he'd been improperly paid, Brooks told his son that "he did not know how that money order had ended up in [Sulaimon Brown's] possession," court records say. In fact, Brooks hand delivered that money order to Brown.
  • Brooks lied to the FBI, and LL presumes, his own lawyer. Brooks met voluntarily with the FBI on April 6, 2011, and told them that he'd never given Brown cash or money orders and said he didn't recognize his own handwriting on one of the money orders that was given to Brown. Brooks' lawyer, Glenn Ivey, said he went with Brooks to that meeting and did not know his client was lying.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Throw The Book

    Welp...as shady as it sounds, they will not be able to pinpoint Gray unless Lorraine Green snitches on him. If she says she acted alone in pulling the team together to carry out this mission, that is one down ass ride or die chick thats dumb lol.

    Its tough tho because for Gray to have these individuals around his team, its tough not to pay attention to the patterns of Sulaimon as things are shifting at the debates. It was almost like having Gray, his assistant, and Fenty on the panel.

  • All the Presidents Men

    The comparison of President Nixon and Mayor Gray are remarkable, The Watergate break-in was a stupid move that was unnecessary, the Sulaimon Affaire was stupid and unnecessary. All of Nixon's close confidants went down and protected the president but in the end he had to RESIGN. All of Gray's close confidants are going down and may in fact be protecting Gray but in the end he SHOULD RESIGN in shame. Any agency head who was surrounded by incompetent fools I am sure Gray or any Mayor would fire, why would he be subject to any less accountability.

    Ignorance is not an excuse anymore...

  • Joe

    and like all the Presidents Men, the Gray team are pleading to or will be convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice that are far more serious crimes than the underlying offense. Some folks never learn that the cover up is worse than the initial criminal act.

  • NE John

    This is more like All the President's Janitors

  • truth hurts

    Tick, tick, tick...

    Climbing the ladder.

  • GovSucks

    I love DC but I am disgusted by the seedy, criminal, self-serving elements that are running it; the Council, Mayor and his so-called friends. Through all this it is apparent that Gray and his campaign committee never trusted he could win the election based on his own merits. Now, it is clear how truly lacking in merit he, and his people, are. If he really cared about this city he would resign and take half the Council with him so we can get back on track during these difficult times.

  • um hummm

    @#6: If you think GovSucks now, WTF do you think would happen if the scenario you dipict occurred? Are you deaf, dumb and blind to what the overly simplistic "getting back on track" entails?

    It's very obvious the man cares about the city with all he
    has managed to accomplish in spite of the wolves constantly sniping at his feet about something the US Attorney's office has not held him responsible for. I know, I know, ...it ain't over til the fat lady sings. But at this point she isn't even in the building.

    I question the common sense of people who are calling for disruption of the local political process which was put in place by the electorate of this city. Those who profess to love DC should think about what they say regarding that which would tear the city apart.

    Now of course, if GS is trying to stack the demographic of the Council by calling for the resignation of half of them, that's a whole other story. But there is no way in Hell this city's voters will allow that to happen. Ask the wolves who were sniping at Marion Barry.