U.S.

How Low Can Former D.C. Councilmember Michael A. Brown Go?

June 24, 2013

Things just keep getting worse for former D.C. Councilmember Michael A. Brown.

Brown, who recently pleaded guilty to bribery charges, failed to file financial disclosure and campaign finance forms to the city government, according to the Washington Times.

The former councilmember, who lost reelection for his at-large seat in November and dropped out of a special at-large election in April, reportedly failed to file his 2012 financial disclosure statement. The course of events is very strange, but perhaps nothing out of the ordinary for the dysfunctional D.C. Council.

The Washington Times reports that Brown “respectfully declined” to file.

The D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability is pursuing a violation notice against Brown after he “respectfully declined” to file his 2012 financial disclosure statement this year, according to minutes from the board’s June 6 meeting.

“Initially, Mr. Brown requested an extension of several months, but this Office informed him that we would require an explanation before granting such a lengthy extension,” the meeting minutes state. “We later received a letter from his attorney on June 4, 2013, declining to file with no explanation.”

Brown has also yet to disclose financial information concerning expenditures and donations made to his special election campaign. According to the Washington Times, he dropped out of the race due to a plea agreement in corruption case that was only recently made public.

Having failed to submit campaign finance forms and requested an extension to file a day late, Brown now faces a July 2 hearing before the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance’s general counsel, which could result in a number of penalties, including up to a $5,000 fine for each offense.

A quick rundown of the issues Brown has run into over the last year and a half give you an idea of how charges and allegations have added up for the son of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown.

Brown pleaded guilty in June to bribery for taking $55,000 in cash payments from undercover FBI agents who were posing as businessmen seeking preferential treatment from the city government. During his 2012 reelection campaign, Brown announced that $114,000 had been taken from his campaign finances by his treasurer, Hakim Sutton, who argued that it was Brown who had told him to do so. Brown fired his treasurer and the city launched an investigation, but no charges were filed against either Brown or Sutton.

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