Brady associate pleads guilty

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U.S. Rep. Bob Brady

An associate of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has pleaded guilty to lying in the probe of a $90,000 payment from Brady's campaign funds to a political rival. Brady says he has done nothing wrong. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

A longtime associate of Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation into whether Brady paid an opponent to drop his 2012 challenge for Brady’s seat.

Democratic political consultant Donald Jones appeared in court Friday, and his attorney, Alan Tauber, said it may not be the last time.

“The guilty plea is a cooperation plea,” Tauber said, “so he’s obligated to cooperate in any manner that the government feels is necessary.”

Prosecutors charged Jones and fellow consultant Ken Smukler with orchestrating a set of phony transactions to hide payments from Brady’s campaign fund to his former opponent, Jimmie Moore, and his former campaign manager, Carolyn Caveness.

Brady has not been charged, but prosecutors have alleged in court filings that he met with Moore and struck a deal in which Moore would withdraw from the race in return for $90,000 from Brady’s committee to retire Moore’s campaign debts.

Both Moore and Caveness have pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in the case, and they have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Jones may be called upon to testify against Smukler, who has also worked with Brady for many years.

Charges against Brady appear less likely now than earlier this year, since the five-year statute of limitations has expired on the meeting, payments and campaign finance reports involved in the alleged deal.

Jones could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tauber said Jones regrets lying to authorities and wants to move on.

“He’s eager to put this unfortunate chapter of his life behind him and get back to being a hardworking, law-abiding and productive citizen,” Tauber said.

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