Former D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown, 41, has been charged with a misdemeanor of allowing a relative to access the bank account he opened with Industrial Bank. The account was allegedly called, the “side account,” meant for “get-out-the-vote” efforts, but Brown actually used them toward his new home purchase and a $50,000 powerboat. Kwame Brown lied on the records he provided Industrial Bank to obtain the funds.
All the fraud charges together led Brown to resign from his position.
With his fraudulent “get-out-the-vote” fund, Kwame Brown raised almost $1 million. The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance audited the campaign’s books, catching that several sums of the fund were spent without any records.
Kwame Brown’s brother, Che was in control of an unrecorded $239,000 account, as well as $270,000 of the campaign fun that had been spent. Che is not being accused of a crime, given that he is identified as “Person 1” in the court papers.
Brown’s income was raised by thousands of dollars, according to WebProNews, upon his fraudulent requests. In the court report, prosecutors wrote, "Brown provided to Industrial Bank, N.A., falsified documents that overstated... Brown's income by tens of thousands of dollars."
In his resignation letter, Brown wrote, “Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this tim [sic]. I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.”
Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells described a private meeting with Kwame Brown upon his hearing. Wells said it was, "very frank and honest."
Kwame Brown makes $190,000 a year as Councilman, but his family has reportedly had experienced financial problems. Brown alleged to The Washington Post that his debt alone was $700,000.
Brown would have replaced Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) if Gray were ever to leave. People are predicting Brown’s political career to be over.
According to The Washington Post, Council member Phil Mendelson will likely take Brown’s old seat as chairman.