Alleged Shadow Campaign Operative Vernon Hawkins Charged
Vernon Hawkins, a longtime friend of Mayor Vince Gray and an alleged operative for the 2010 shadow campaign, has been charged with lying to federal investigators.
According to charging documents, in Dec. 2011, Hawkins passed money to a caterer who had worked as transportation coordinator for the shadow campaign. The money, which Hawkins allegedly received from Jeff Thompson associate Jeanne Clarke Harris, was meant to convince the caterer to leave the District to avoid federal investigators.
Hawkins is charged with lying to investigators about the alleged plan to get the caterer out of town. Since Hawkins has been charged in a criminal information, he's expected to plead guilty.
Hawkins' knowledge of District campaigns extends beyond Gray's 2010 run. He worked as an advisor in Vincent Orange's 2011 run, even earning special thanks from the candidate when he was sworn in.
Hawkins was at Orange's headquarters the day that the FBI searched Thompson and Harris' homes. One campaign worker tells LL that, on hearing the news, Hawkins looked like a general who'd been told that his base was being overrun.