Former D.C. Council member Michael Brown Pleads Guilty to Bribery

James Wright | 6/12/2013, 3 p.m.
A once promising political star in the District recently pleaded guilty to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from businessmen ...
Former D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown leaves the U.S. District Courthouse in Northwest. Brown pleaded guilty to bribery charges on Monday, June 10. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

In 1997, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge connected to an illegal campaign donation.

Brown is the third member of the D.C. Council who has pleaded guilty to felonies recently, with the others being Harry Thomas Jr. and former chairman Kwame Brown.

Brown could possibly serve 37 months in prison, if federal prosecutors have their way. He is scheduled for sentencing on October 3.

Published reports also say that Brown is cooperating with the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in the ongoing probe into D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign.

There is speculation that Brown is the latest victim of an attempt to bring down the city's black leaders but Fauntroy, 45, doesn’t accept that explanation.

"Michael Brown is an example of how African-Americans elect people to represent us based on personality not on competence or ethics," he said.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has expressed concern and sadness over the Brown episode.

"The news of Michael Brown's plea is both disturbing and unfortunate," said Mendelson, 60. "Even though elected officials are no better than ordinary people, citizens have a right to hold us to the highest standards. It is my hope that those of us who have been elected to serve will see the news of Mr. Brown's plea as stimulus to redouble our efforts to improve ethics and regain the public's trust."