Loose Lips

Ex-Williams Chief of Staff Charged With Covering Up Illicit Thompson Money

Kelvin Robinson

Former Tony Williams chief of staff Kelvin Robinson allegedly took more than $33,500 in illicit campaign help from confessed shadow campaign mastermind Jeff Thompson in two bids for the D.C. Council, according to a charge filed in Superior Court against Robinson this afternoon.

The alleged $7,500 in-kind contribution to Robinson's abandoned 2010 at-large campaign and $26,000 in in-kind help for Robinson's unsuccessful Ward 6 bid followed a now-familiar pattern, according to court papers. Thompson allegedly took money intended for Robinson from his accounting firm and the holding company that held his Medicaid contracting company.

Then Thompson disguised the money's path by funneling it through companies owned by aide Jeanne Clarke Harris and Robinson's own company, according to prosecutors. After receiving the money, Robinson or his associates would allegedly use the funds on "campaign services and campaign materials," according to court papers.

Robinson faces five years in prison on one charge of conspiring the defraud the Office of Campaign Finance by concealing Thompson's help. Robinson isn't charged in a criminal information, which suggests he doesn't plan to plead guilty. No court date has been set.

Robinson couldn't be reached for comment, but in 2012, Robinson told Washington City Paper that he didn't think there was anything wrong with some $13,000 in campaign contributions he received from possible straw donors tied to Thompson in his Ward 6 run against Tommy Wells.

While Thompson pleaded guilty to illicitly boosting Robinson's 2010 Ward 6 in March, other court records show his relationship with the former mayoral chief of staff went back much further. In 2006, a bank account controlled by Wilson Building megalobbyist David Wilmot that Thompson routed money through cut $20,250 worth of checks to Robinson's company, Emerge D.C.

Just days after receiving one of the checks, Robinson's company made a $2,000 donation to the mayoral effort of former Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp, whose campaign Thompson has admitted to providing with $280,000 in off-the-books help.

File photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Where’s the Beef?

    Whats really dicked up is that Thompson, the poster boy and Bernie Madoff of illegal campaign contributions, who will be shown to have spent millions of dollars over the years across the country (already $1.3 million so far just to Gray, Cropp and Hillary) in illegal contributions, is only going to get 6 MONTHS while Robinson is facing 5 YEARS for $35,000.

    Machen better start slapping charges on lots of people and some really big names to justify Uncle Earl's slap on the wrist. Or maybe Uncle is bouncing 'Lil Ron on more than just his knee...

  • DCShadyBoots

    Are all these folks going to jail:

    Couuncilmember Vincent Orange: $99,700

    Council Chairman Kwame Brown: $32,500

    At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown: $22,750 [In February, it was reported that Thompson was believed to have provided about $100,000 in off-the-book help to Brown's 2008 campaign.]

    At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson: $19,500

    Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser: $18,600

    At-Large Councilmember David Catania: $15,750

    Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.: $10,000

    Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander: $9,600

    Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry: $8,550

    Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham: $8,000

    Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans: $4,500

    Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh: $1,000

    former Mayor Adrian Fenty: $100,000

  • DCShadyBoots

    Who's next?

    Councilmember Vincent Orange: $99,700

    Council Chairman Kwame Brown: $32,500

    At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown: $22,750 [In February, it was reported that Thompson was believed to have provided about $100,000 in off-the-book help to Brown's 2008 campaign.]

    At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson: $19,500

    Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser: $18,600

    At-Large Councilmember David Catania: $15,750

    Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.: $10,000

    Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander: $9,600

    Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry: $8,550

    Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham: $8,000

    Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans: $4,500

    Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh: $1,000

    Mayor Adrian Fenty: $100,000

  • jorge

    @Where's the Beef?
    Great point. Machen has a serious priority problem. In all of this, Thompson is by far the biggest crook. He dreamt up and executed the whole thing. Why would you let him walk the streets so you can go after smaller players? Reminds me of American Hustle...

  • lost cause

    well we all know Bowser has got to have more moeny than that since Wilmont has been her finance chair for each of her campaigns since she has been in office...let the skeletons fall...not as clean as you thought she was is she....

  • Oz

    Lost...clean is not a word that comes to mind in any way with Bowser...even. her makeup is dirty. ..

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