Kwame Brown – Orange Jumpsuit Politician of the Week Award
Small Government is corrupt government. One of the reasons conservatives so love that small government is the opportunity it provides for corruption.
Washington, DC’s city government has a long history and culture of corruption. Many of the black contractors in the region won’t even consider making sales calls on the DC Government because of internal corruption.
From former Mayor Marion Berry to the current Kwame, this corruption has reached into the highest levels of the DC Government, forming a virtual boat anchor around the necks of the citizenry and the city’s ability to provide services.
The amazing part is that the stakes in the corruption, unlike other big cities – are so small. I’m not real sure this is the type of case Federal prosecutors ought to be chasing, though – as there seems to me to be a lot bigger fish to fry than some moron lying about his income on a loan application. Going after Kwame on this is a bit…
Speaking of boat anchors – Borrowing $50k for a 38′ boat? Obviously he was maxxed out on his Mercedes payment (Kwame had a reputation for driving expensive cars). If he had to borrow $50k for that size boat – he couldn’t afford it anyway. Boats in that size come with 300-600 gallon gas tanks – meaning a fill up for half a tank, which is where most prudent boaters fill – is $750 – $1,500. That doesn’t count $2-3000 a year in slip fees, $1,500 in winterization costs, and normal repairs and maintenance…
It had to be a used boat, because the last time I went to the Annapolis Boar Show, you couldn’t buy the steering wheel on a quality boat in that class for $50k. And I have known guys who spent that much on the electronics package and fishing gear on their boats.
And with the mortgage industry fraud and theft by bank of depositor funds though overdraft and other manipulated fees…
I’m not sure Kwame’s crime rises above theft of stolen money from a thief who stole the money in the first place.
Not to excuse Kwame – But…
I Don’t understand why these prosecutors aren’t putting the real thieves in jail.
D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned from his seat Wednesday night, hours after he was charged with bank fraud, plunging the city government into a leadership crisis.
“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 time,” Brown wrote in a letter to the council secretary. “I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.”
Earlier in the day, prosecutors filed a three-page charging document in the District’s federal court accusing Brown (D) of falsifying records in applications to obtain a home loan and to buy a $50,000 powerboat. Brown inflated his income by “tens of thousands of dollars” in the two-year scheme that started in August 2005, federal prosecutors wrote.
Brown, dogged for months by an investigation into his personal finances and his 2008 campaign for a council seat, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, Brown will face far less potential punishment.
The disclosure of the charges set off a frenzy of activity at the District’s John A. Wilson Building, including a hastily scheduled closed-door council meeting in Brown’s office.
Brown, 41, submitted his resignation quietly, in a letter delivered privately. He refused to address a platoon of reporters as he left his council offices about 4 p.m.
A politician who speaks of himself in the third person, has compared himself to President John F. Kennedy and has a love affair with expensive cars, Brown flashed a large grin as he shoved his way through the scrum and tried to ignore reporters’ shouted questions.
“I will have a comment tomorrow,” said Brown, who as recently as last week said that he was not “worried one bit” about an intensifying federal probe into his finances and a previous city campaign.
The charges against Brown came in a “criminal information,” a document that can be filed only with the defendant’s consent and which signals that a plea deal has been reached. Officials familiar with the case said that prosecutors and Brown’s attorney have been discussing the plea deal for weeks.
“Thank you,” he told reporters as he tried to get to his car. “No comment as of now. I appreciate you for waiting in this hallway all this time. I don’t have a comment.”
On Wednesday night, well after Brown had left the Wilson Building, city workers removed his nameplate from his office door, leaving only the word “Chairman” near Room 504…
Brown is the second council member this year to be charged with a federal crime. Last month, former council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D) was sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from city taxpayers.