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Former DC Mayor Wants Apology After Ethics Investigation Cost Him Election

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Former District of Columbia Mayor Vince Gray wants an apology from former U.S. Attorney Ron Machen after Gray said an ethics violation cost him the 2014 mayoral election.

Gray made the rounds on local television and radio stations Tuesday, speaking out publicly for the first time since D.C.’s new U.S. Attorney dropped the charges last week.

“I would say you owe me an apology, Mr. Machen,” Gray said on Fox 5’s “Good Day DC” Tuesday morning.

Machen announced that Gray was involved in an illegal “shadow campaign” just weeks before the 2014 Democratic primary vote, which, according to Gray, cost him the election.

“Maybe we should have a do-over. I’d show up for it. I’d be happy to show up for it,” Gray said.

Gray said Tuesday afternoon on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show he would “absolutely” be mayor if it wasn’t for the announcement of the investigation.

“I believe it was voter suppression at work,” Gray said about the timing of the announcement.

U.S. prosecutors said Jeffrey Thompson, a local D.C. businessman and Gray confidante, ran a “shadow campaign” to help get Gray elected. The investigation revealed an intricate network of donors who conspired to funnel unreported money into Gray’s campaign.

Thompson already pleaded guilty to dumping more than $650,000 into the campaign illegally. Twelve other people also pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme.

Gray, though, maintained his innocence throughout the trial process, rejecting a plea deal last year for one felony count. Prosecutors were never able to tie him to the illegal campaign cash.

Machen, in a statement, defended his office’s decision to investigate Gray. He said he understood how Gray could take issue with the timing of the announcement, but there was no political motive behind it.

“When Jeff Thompson came forward and revealed a massive scheme to corrupt D.C. politics, the office could not just sweep that under the rug,” Machen said. “Whether Thompson entered his plea before or after the primary election, there would have been criticism of the timing and speculation about how it might have affected the election.”

According to Machen, he tried to announce the intentions of his investigation as soon as possible, because “prosecutors have to focus on the facts and the law without fear of political fallout.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.