Covering

Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

DC Council Chair Charged With Fraud

DC council Chairman Kwame Brown who last week, speaking at the memorial service for the city’s godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, warned new residents moving to the District of Columbia who may not like the Go-Go genre to "get over it", may find himself not being able to ‘get over’ facing allegations of bank fraud and campaign fund misuse.

Brown, who has served the residents of the District of Columbia since 2004, came under fire last year when an investigation revealed he spent funds excessively upgrading the city owned Lincoln Navigator SUV he now drives.


Brown reportedly inflated his income by thousands of dollars in order to secure funding for a home and a motor boat.
Early Tuesday Brown stated he would not step down from his council post, and admitted no wrongdoing; but by late Wednesday, Brown formally submitted his resignation, at the advice of legal counsel. 

A hearing will be held next week where plans to find a replacement for the city’s second highest office will take place.  Council woman Mary Cheh will be the temporary replacement for Brown until his former position can be filled.

Brown admitted his wrong doing, saying he will make restitution.  He is expected to enter a guilty plea on Friday.

A new charge, filed Thursday morning however, also accuses the former council chair of misusing campaign funds.

Brown joins a growing list of District council members investigated for alleged campaign wrongdoing.  All are African American.

DC council member Harry Thomas, Jr. was formerly charged and sentenced to misusing $300,000 in funds slated for a city youth program.  He was sentenced to three years in prison. DC mayor Vincent Gray was also investigated for campaign wrong doing.   He allegedly paid a district resident to help sabotage the campaign of then DC mayor, Adrian Fenty, in exchange for a DC council position.  No charges have been formally filed against the mayor at this time.

The latest turmoil in the DC government comes one week after former presidential candidate John Edwards was found not guilty on charges that he misused campaign funds to hide his mistress (his campaign videographer) and love child while still married to his wife who was dying of cancer.

Edwards was acquitted of all charges.

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