A former aide to Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign was sentenced to two years of probation Wednesday for lying to federal agents about campaign finance violations that federal prosecutors say tainted the mayoral election.
Howard Brooks, 64, pleaded guilty in May to one felony charge of making a false statement to FBI agents about helping to funnel illicit payments to the campaign of a fringe mayoral candidate and to Gray’s own election effort.
Brooks, once a top salesman for two Fortune 500 companies, told U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that he had been “humbled” by his errors and pleaded for leniency.
“I made poor choices,” Brooks told the judge. “I did break the law, and for that I’m truly sorry.”
Kollar-Kotelly called the crime a serious one that “could warrant jail time,” noting that Brooks’s lies “could have derailed” a federal investigation of an important matter. But she said probation and 200 hours of community service was the proper punishment because Brooks had accepted responsibility for his actions and led an otherwise exemplary life.