Let’s hope former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown has a nice TV, as he’s about to have plenty of down time.
Brown, who resigned from the council this summer and pleaded guilty to lying on a loan application in order to buy a boat, was sentenced this morning to spend the rest of the business day in the custody of the U.S. Marshals, six months of home detention (complete with electronic monitoring device), two years of probation, and 480 hours of community service.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office wanted Brown to spend six days in jail, but Brown’s attorney, Fred Cooke Jr., successfully argued that the spectacular dismantling of a once-promising political career and subsequent public humiliation was punishment for Brown enough.
“That’s a pretty stiff price to pay,” Cooke said of Brown’s fall from grace.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon agreed, and put Brown into custody only until 5:30 p.m. today. Rather than jail time, Leon said he’s a fan of “visible” public service as a way of reminding other would-be lawbreakers that no one is above the law. He’s recommending that Brown’s community service be served in some public capacity during the weekday, not on weekends. As for the house arrest, Brown won’t be able to leave his house for the next six months except for pre-approved activities, like going to work or church. On top of that, he’ll have a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. So yeah, send him your old DVDs and video games.
For his part, Brown spoke to the judge about how sorry he was and how difficult this ordeal has been for him. Brown choked up at times when speaking of how he’s always tried to teach his children to do the right thing—including stopping at all stop signs.
Leon reminded Brown that he’d already gotten in trouble for violating the conditions of his pre-trial release and warned him that any further violations of the court’s orders would result in jail time. “Stop at those stop signs,” Leon told Brown.
Brown is due in D.C. Superior Court later this afternoon for sentencing on a misdemeanor campaign finance violation. Specifically, Brown pleaded guilty to allowing his brother Che Brown, who has not been charged with any crime, to spend more than $50 in campaign cash without reporting it. Unreported campaign expenditures of more than $50 is a crime, remember, that Brown says pretty much every D.C. politician is probably also guilty of.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery