Has there ever been a character in the tragicomedy of District politics as entertaining as Sulaimon Brown?
Brown, as you know, narrowly lost last year’s mayoral race by a mere 72,439 votes, went on to work in Mayor Vince Gray’s administration, was fired, had to be escorted out of his office by police, crashed a mayoral news conference, cried in front of reporters, accused the mayor of an improper quid pro quo, evaded a D.C. Council subpoena, eventually showed up at a council hearing wearing sunglasses and got in several fights with various councilmembers.
Now comes the news that Brown was arrested Monday for driving on an expired Maryland driver’s license. (LL had this exchange with Brown last September: “So you’ve never gotten a Maryland driver’s license, is what you’re saying,” LL asked. “What I’m saying is, yes, that is correct,” Brown said.) As he was being arrested, the police report says, Brown allegedly told the officers present: “That’s OK, you all know who I am, I’ll have each and every one of you on the news by next week!”
Brown then called a news conference to tell reporters he was being unfairly targeted for his actions against the mayor. (He’s also being sued by his landlord, who says Brown has been an illegal squatter for at least several months.)
It would all be a silly distraction—except for the fact that the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have been working to build a case based on Brown’s accusations that the mayor and his campaign aides improperly gave him money and promised him a city job. (The mayor denies any wrongdoing.)
Brown’s shenanigans may now be giving some federal prosecutors heartburn, says former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova.
“These are not good things for a prosecutor’s case,” says diGenova. “They are unnecessary headaches.”
No doubt, but it might not be bad news for the mayor and some of his campaign aides.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery
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