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Federal prosecutors have empaneled a grand jury to hear testimony about the murky 2008 re-election campaign of Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown, according to one source who has already testified before the panel.

Brown’s lawyer, Fred Cooke Jr., says he’s not aware of any grand jury actions and says his client has not been called to testify.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office indicated last year that it had began investigating the finances of Brown’s 2008 campaign. In July, the Board of Elections and Ethics referred Brown’s case to federal prosecutors after an audit by the Office of Campaign Finance found all sorts of accounting irregularities, including $240,00o in payments to Brown’s brother, Che. After referring the case to the feds, then-BOEE Chairman Togo West told reporters that the board believed there had been “criminal” activity in the campaign. Kwame Brown has denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment, citing the agency’s ongoing investigation of Brown’s campaign. When the feds empanel grand juries, it’s often a step that precedes an  indictment. But grand juries can also be used in highly publicized cases, like Brown’s, to close out investigations without filing charges.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery