Kelvin Robinson Admits Covering Up Jeff Thompson Shadow Campaign
Kelvin Robinson, a former D.C. Council candidate, pleaded guilty in Superior Court today to conspiring to conceal illegal shadow campaign help from Jeff Thompson in two 2010 races, according to a court docket.
Robinson, a former chief of staff for Mayor Tony Williams, was charged last month with covering up help from Thompson. Besides ex-Councilmember Michael Brown, he's the first candidate to be charged with benefitting from an illegal shadow campaign by Thompson, although newly unsealed court documents suggest a grand jury is considering charges against other candidates.
A statement of offense released today along with Robinson's guilty plea shows how Thompson and confessed shadow campaign operative Jeanne Clarke Harris spent approximately $33,500 on an abortive at-large run and a failed Ward 6 campaign for Robinson.
The expenses included $2,500 for T-shirts, $5,025 for rent for Robinson's campaign, and $9,800 for two direct mailings. According to the statement of offense, Thompson also directed his extensive network of straw donors to make donations to Robinson's Ward 6 campaign, which he then illegally reimbursed.
Despite the money Thompson committed to him, Robinson initially wanted more. According to the statement of offense, Robinson presented Thompson with a budget for roughly $90,000 for his Ward 6 bid, only to receive approximately $26,500. Maybe Thompson should have kicked in more—Robinson went on to lose the race to Councilmember Tommy Wells, getting less than 25 percent of the vote.
Robinson's lawyer couldn't be reached for comment today. Last week, he declined to comment on whether Robinson had agreed to cooperate with investigators.
File photo by Darrow Montgomery