Former D.C. Council Member Brown to Plead Guilty to Bribery

WI Web Staff | 6/7/2013, 5:41 p.m.
Michael A. Brown (Courtesy of michaelbrown2013.com)

Former District of Columbia Council member Michael Brown intends to plead guilty to felony bribery for accepting $55,000 from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen, his attorney said Friday.

According to the charging document, Brown "corruptly demanded, sought, received, accepted and agreed to receive" the cash from the agents, who sought approval for a non-existent company from the city's Certified Business Enterprise program, over a period between July and March.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. A plea hearing is scheduled for Monday in U.S. District Court.

His attorney Brian Heberling said in a statement that the former at-large council member has accepted responsibility and apologized to friends and family.

Heberling called Brown's actions a “serious lapse in judgment" due to strain from significant financial problems.

Brown, the son of the late U.S. Commerce secretary Ronald Brown, was first elected as an independent to the D.C. Council in 2008.

After losing his seat in November to David Grasso, Brown ran as a Democrat in a special election to fill a seat vacated by council chairman Phil Mendelson, but suddenly exited the race in April, just weeks before the election.

He decided to withdraw from the race to handle "very important personal and family matters" that he said required immediate attention.