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Brown: Ethics Issues Aren't Crippling D.C.

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    News4's Tom Sherwood talks to Council Member Michael Brown About DC's ethics issues.

    Some say D.C. leaders need to do more to reassure residents that ethics are a priority, but Council member Michael Brown says ethical clouds are not crippling the city.

    Brown downplayed the ethics issues on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Politics Hour Friday. The at-large Council member recently was chosen second in command on the council following the resignation of former Council Chairman Kwame Brown.

    While admitting the city does have ethics issues it needs to work, it is doing great as a whole. He said reporters and citizens use the word “ethics” too broadly.

    “I think we have to be careful relative to, What is the definition of ‘ethics?’” Brown said.

    “To some people it’s (following the laws),” he added. “To other people it’s, If you jaywalk are you now not ethical?”

    Brown has had a series of financial problems involving failure to pay rent, taxes and troubled business deals, but he said voters still support him and his council record. He's seeking a second term in November.

    Brown said Mayor Vincent Gray, whose 2010 campaign is under investigation, is doing a good job, and he hopes Gray survives his legal troubles.