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Former D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown told supporters tonight that he plans to plead guilty after being caught in a bribery sting.

The Washington Post was the first to report the conference call, after WUSA-TV’s Bruce Johnson broke the news of the bribery charge.

The investigation by the FBI began a year and a half ago, according to the Post. Undercover agents posing as local businessmen offered Brown money in exchange for help becoming a Certified Business Enterprise, which would give them an advantage when competing for contracts. Brown needed the money because of marriage troubles, according to an NBC 4 report. In April, Brown dropped out of his campaign to regain an at-large seat on the D.C. Council in a special election. He had lost his bid for re-election in November, coming in third in a race for two seats.

In tonight’s conference call, Brown characterized the money as a loan that wasn’t part of any quid pro quo arrangement, Brown conference call participant Robert Brannum tells LL. Still, according to Brannum, Brown said he would plead guilty.

“He was going to take responsibility for something that he should not have put himself in,” Brannum says.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ron Machen declined to comment. Brown couldn’t be reached for comment.

If Brown does plead guilty, it will be his second run-in with the Justice Department. In 1997, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations of campaign finance law after organizing people to make straw donations to Ted Kennedy‘s Senate campaign.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery