City Employees’ Retirement Plans May Have Funded Gray Campaign

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more suspicious activity hovering over Vincent Gray’s 2010 mayoral campaign, new allegations have surfaced over malpractice within city employees’ retirement funds.

The Associated Press reports 13,000 city employees unknowingly paid $212,000 in “administrative expenses” to the D.C. government after contributing to to their ING retirement plans.

Approximately $39,000 of those funds went to an accounting firm headed by Jeffrey Thompson, who is currently under federal investigation for improperly contributing funds to multiple political campaigns. One of those campaigns is alleged to be that of Mayor Gray, in his defeat over then mayor Adrian Fenty.

Thompson has long been notorious as one of the District’s greatest political donors. He is being investigated for allegedly having funded an over $650,000 shadow campaign for Gray.

The city’s chief financial officer, Natwar Gandhi, says there was no grand conspiracy and that information is available upon request.

City Councilman Jack Evans is calling it a transparency issue.

“If I have a retirement account, I want to know where my money’s being used so I can get the most return for my money and not have administrative expenses eat it up,” he said.

Thompson has not been charged with a crime and the mayor’s office says it was not aware of the deal.

Councilwoman Mary Cheh is nervous about all the avenues available to manipulate money and take money from the District of Columbia.

“Either unlawfully or without proper notice, this is just one more example,” Cheh said. “It’s like this steady drumbeat of disappointment.”

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