Video: Vince Gray Is Delighted to See Jeff Thompson
If you haven't read it yet, this week's column is about the highly unusual financial relationship between Jeff Thompson, the alleged financier of the "shadow campaign" federal prosecutors say helped Mayor Vince Gray win election, and David Wilmot, one of the city's top-paid lobbyists.
In the piece, LL shows how Thompson's money was routed through Wilmot's bank accounts to a company called Integrated Urban Solutions, which had ties to the former director of the city's health department. Court and campaign records show that in early 2006, Integrated Urban Solutions received a check from Thompson via Wilmot's account shortly after it made a donation to mayoral candidate Linda Cropp, for whose campaign Thompson was a major fundraiser.
LL didn't have space to report on some other connections between Integrated Urban Solutions and bold-face names in city politics. In its certification of organization filed in 2002, former Gray campaign aide Lloyd Jordan is listed as the company's organizer. Jordan, who used to run the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, says he doesn't recall the details of setting up Integrated Urban Solutions, but says his involvement with the company did not extend beyond helping in its creation.
In Integrated Urban Solution's 2003 status report to DCRA, the company's registered agent is listed as Elaine Crider, who Gray appointed last year to the board of the troubled United Medical Center. Crider did not respond to requests for comment, so it's not clear what role she had with the company. Integrated Urban Solutions did not file any more paperwork with DCRA until 2011, and those forms do not list Crider on them.
But in looking into her background, LL did stumble upon this video nugget (posted after the jump). It's a council hearing from December 2009 on Crider's then-nomination to the board of the University of the District of Columbia in which Thompson testified as a witness on Crider's behalf. Leading the council hearing was then D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray, who was only a few months away from launching his mayoral bid in which Thompson allegedly played a major role.
(Start watching at the 13 minute mark. If it doesn't load on your computer, here is a direct link.)
Council hearings on board appointments are usually pro forma affairs, and this one is no different. There's no real substance to the video, but it's still mildly entertaining to watch the city's future mayor exchanges pleasantries with the man who liked be called "governor" before their names would be linked together forever.
"We're delighted to have Mr. Thompson here this afternoon. Welcome Mr. Thompson, we'd be delighted to hear your testimony," says Gray. Delighted!
In his brief remarks, Thompson says that the UDC board will be well served with Crider's addition.
“I’ve known her to be someone of upstanding character,” says Thompson. His and Crider's paths probably crossed when she consulted with the District government in the early part of the last decade as it expanded health insurance coverage to the poor, a move that helped the Thompson-owned Chartered Health Plan.
“Her accomplishments in the health care community is [sic] tremendous,” Thompson says.
Thompson has also long been a huge UDC booster. He's an alum and served on UDC's board during former Mayor Tony Williams' administration. But the school began distancing itself from Thompson after the FBI raided his house and office last year, booting him from its fundraising foundation and rejecting a bid to put Thompson's longtime masseur, Richard Evans, on the UDC board.