Allegations of corruption in Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration have led to major overhauls in his top staff.

Current Gray staffers are being accused of nepotism, overpaying top officials and using unethical tactics in the 2010 mayoral campaign.

Gray’s camp allegedly promised an administration position and gave cash payments to fringe mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown, prompting him to stay in the race and use the media attention to criticize incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty.

Brown was also later given a position within the Gray administration at the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance with an annual salary of $110,000. After Brown was fired from this position in March, he met with officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to discuss the allegations of scandal.

Though Gray adamantly denies all of Brown’s accusations, the FBI has said it is aware of Brown’s allegations and is in the process of evaluating them.

The mayor was also prompted to fire his first chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall, in March amid allegations of nepotism surrounding the hiring of Hall’s son and the children of other campaign officials.

On Aug. 30, Gray announced the appointment of new chief of staff, Christopher Murphy, and deputy chief of staff, Angela Pringle.

Murphy comes to his new post after working as deputy chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Pringle was formerly the deputy campaign manager for Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential run.

All of the top personnel changeovers have led to widespread concerns about the effectiveness of Gray’s administration.

“The allegations against Mayor Gray are serious, and if proven true are just cause for his resignation or removal from office: The buck must stop at the mayor’s desk,” Sam Dulik (SFS ’13), the director of communications for Georgetown University College Republicans, wrote in an email.

Scott Stirrett (SFS ’13), chair of the student advocacy group DC Students Speak, expressed concern but said he still had hope for the administration.

“Most students who are engaged with local politics can say they’ve been disappointed with some of the scandal that resulted from the Gray administration, specifically the scandal involving Sulaimon Brown and his appointment into the Gray administration, but there are a lot of positive things that Gray has done at the same time,” Stirrett said.

Jason Gerson (COL ’14), the director of off-campus outreach for Georgetown University College Democrats, said that his group remains supportive of the Gray administration.

“Other people make allegations, but we fully stand behind Mayor Gray, and we fully believe in his administration and the policies that he’s pursued so far,” he said.

Despite doubts about Gray’s effectiveness, Georgetown University attests that its relationship with the mayor’s office remains strong and productive.

“Georgetown University enjoys a good working relationship with Mayor Gray and his administration on quality of life issues, as they relate to the university, our students and our neighbors,” Associate Vice President for External Relations Linda Grennan wrote in an email. “We’ll continue to work with community leaders and officials to ensure a high quality of life, regardless of who holds these posts.”

The mayor’s office could not be reached for comment at press time.

Hoya Staff Writer Braden MacDonald contributed to this report.

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