Judge orders curfew for Kwame Brown

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Photo - Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (Examiner file photo)
Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown (Examiner file photo)
Local,DC,Liz Farmer,Alan Blinder

The man who until June was the District government's second-ranking official is now under orders to be home by 11 p.m. each night.

Angered by former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown's repeated failures to check in with authorities, a federal judge on Tuesday imposed new restrictions, including a curfew, on the disgraced lawmaker while he awaits sentencing on a felony bank fraud charge.

"This is pretty simple stuff," U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon told Brown. "Don't tempt fate."

Leon's tongue-lashing came after Brown skipped three weekly phone calls to the D.C. Pretrial Services Agency that were conditions of his release after he pleaded guilty in June. The agency said Brown received several warnings before officials chose to involve Leon.

Along with the curfew, which will run from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. each night, Brown will have to check in with pretrial services each week in person.

Brown blamed the errors on travel and miscommunications, and apologized to Leon.

But in the opening stages of a lecture that included Leon pointing his finger at Brown, the judge said Brown's actions weren't indicative of regret.

"Your conduct does not reflect it at all, especially after three times," Leon said. "Your apology is a little late in the game."

Leon also warned Brown he would have no future leeway.

"There won't be three strikes," Leon said. "There will be one. You don't want to know what the next step will be."

Brown returns to court on Nov. 13 for sentencing and faces up to six months in prison under his plea agreement. Leon could opt for a harsher punishment, but experts say that's unlikely.

Leon told Brown, who has acknowledged that he lied about his income to secure two loans, that the missed phone calls could affect his thinking as he considers Brown's sentence.

"This is not the way you position yourself most favorably," Leon said.

Brown will also face a D.C. Superior Court judge in November for sentencing on a misdemeanor campaign finance charge. That count also carries up to six months in jail.

As he left the courthouse, Brown lamented the media attention on his case while there are allegations of mismanagement in the office of the District's chief financial officer.

"I can't believe all of these reporters are here, and the CFO's office is in turmoil," Brown said. "That's pretty disturbing."

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

lfarmer@washingtonexaminer.com

Documents related to Brown's case:

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