Thousands in Fines Possible for Kwame Brown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The ethics office in the District took another step today toward issuing thousands of dollars in fines against Council Chairman Kwame Brown. An audit showed Brown failed to report several hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributions and expenses.

    D.C.’s ethics office took another step toward issuing thousands of dollars in fines against D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown.

    Monday’s 90-minute hearing with Brown’s 2008 committee for his campaign for a council seat followed an audit that showed Brown failed to report several hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributions and expenses. Representing the committee, attorney Fred Cooke later declined to comment on the proceedings.

    The 2008 audit shows Brown did not adequately account for about $300,000 in contributions and expenses. Much of the money was sent to a consulting firm controlled by his brother.

    Campaign sources said Brown faces fines at minimum that could total tens of thousands of dollars and could be assessed before summer.

    Brown's amended report since the audit shows he raised more than $800,000 and has less than $300 left.

    Some city leaders -- and The Washington Post editorial page -- have urged the U.S. attorney to review brown's finances to see if any criminal actions were taken.

    Earlier this year, Brown was embarrassed by media reports on how he sought two fully loaded SUVs to be his official car immediately following his election as council chair in the fall. After an uproar, Brown turned in the car and offered to pay part of the costs -- an amount the city still has not yet determined.

    Brown since then has taken to driving an old mail jeep -- with a rusting bumper -- that he owns, using it now as his official vehicle.

    A spokeswoman said the chairman is trying to resolve the campaign issues as soon as possible.