New Financial Troubles for D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown

By Tom Sherwood
|  Wednesday, Sep 1, 2010  |  Updated 8:31 AM EDT
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<a title=Tom Sherwood reports on the inquiry into D.C. Council member Kwame Brown's campaign spending." />

Tom Sherwood reports on the inquiry into D.C. Council member Kwame Brown's campaign spending.

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The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance has launched an inquiry into thousands of dollars in questionable campaign spending by D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown.

Brown, who is running for chairman of the D.C. Council, already has answered questions about his personal finances, including $50,000 in credit card debt. He acknowledged this summer that he is being sued by three credit card companies for overdue credit card payments. He said he was working to correct his personal finances.

Now Brown, who is running to chair the council that oversees the city's $10 billion budget, is facing a formal inquiry from the city's ethics office into thousands of dollars he's raised and spent on two previous campaigns for his at-large council seat.

The ethics office asked Brown to explain why he was still spending about $10,000  recently on a campaign account from an election that was held two years ago. The ethics office also wants to know more about an $11,000 debt owed to the IRS -- a debt not fully explained in Brown's reports.

The ethics inquiry came on the same day that Brown's principal opponent for chairman -- former Councilman Vincent Orange -- raised questions for the first time about Brown's financial problems, saying they undermine Brown's ability to handle sensitive city finances.

Brown declined to be interviewed about the new financial troubles but called Orange a "desperate candidate" who is trailing Brown in a new Washington Post poll by 22 points.

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