I had the amazing opportunity of assisting a reporter who covered the sentencing of Thomas Gore, a former campaign aide to current D.C. mayor Vincent Gray, last Friday. Gore was accused of committing campaign finance violations and destroying evidence, sentencing him to sixth months in jail along with another six months in home detention. Gore will also be required to be placed on supervised home detention for 36 months. In addition, Gore lied to the FBI when questioned in order to cover up corruption, including a $650,000 charge in illicit funds.
The sentencing took place at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Federal Courthouse. The architecture is beautifully done and is in plain sight of the U.S. Capitol. Despite the unpleasant circumstances, I was thrilled about being able to attend the sentencing and witness the process first-hand. After the hour-long sentencing, the reporter I assisted, along with other reporters around the area, tried to interview Gore and his lawyer but they declined. Assuming both Gore and his lawyer had to exit the building at some point, reporters stood outside a side door waiting to ask them to be interviewed one last time.
The reporter I assisted with WTOP quickly wrote out a summary of the sentencing on his iPad and then recorded the summary via his iPhone. Within a matter of minutes, a story was written, recorded and sent to WTOP via email to be played on-air. It amazed me how quick and efficient technology is, allowing reporters to send in stories no matter where they are.