WASHINGTON,D.C. (WUSA) ---In perhaps the most memorable understatement of the unfolding election corruption investigation that has led to guilty pleas in federal criminal court, Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Wednesday: "This is not the campaign we intended to run."
Federal prosecutors Tuesday secured a guilty plea from a longtime Gray supporter who admitted to running an illegal, under-the-radar shadow campaign on his behalf as he ran for mayor in 2010. The $650,000 secret effort repeatedly ran afoul of federal and District campaign laws.
Wednesday evening, three members of Washington's city council urged Gray to resign.
"Whether the mayor knew or not, he is the beneficiary of that illegal activity and, as such, I believe he should resign," said At-Large Councilman David Catania, a fellow Democrat.
"I think yesterday's court proceedings certainly telegraph that there will be more coming. I believe that there is enough evidence to suggest that his campaign engaged in the largest criminal offense against the institutions, against the city, in the history of modern home rule," Catania told 9News Now.
In what she described as a painful decision, Ward Three Councilwoman Mary Cheh(D) joined in the call for Gray's resignation.
"I think he is a very good man. I found him to be a man of integrity and leadership, and I cannot tell you how sad I am to come to this position but as a mater of healing the District, I think it's a step we have to take," she said.
Ward four Councilmember Muriel Bowser also called for Gray's resignation.
A Gray spokesman issued a statement.
"This is the kind of irresponsible talk we've come to expect from Councilmember Catania.
"It's disappointing however that a constitutional scholar of Councilmember Cheh's caliber would call for a resignation before an investigation is complete," the statement said.