Kwame Brown gets one day in lockup, 480 hours community service

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Local,DC,Liz Farmer

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud in June, spent the day Tuesday in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge gave him a one-day, "symbolic" jail sentence as punishment for his crimes.

Brown, once local government's second-highest ranking official, was also given six months of home detention and 480 hours of community service by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon.

Leon said Brown's resignation of his job and abandoning his political future had been punishment enough and he'd rather have Brown be a public example.

Brown's punishments
For federal charge:
• 1 business day in custody of U.S. Marshals (to be released at 5:30 p.m.)
• 6 months house arrest
• 480 hours community service
• 2 years probation
For misdemeanor charge:
• 30 days jail, all suspended
• 100 hours community service (concurrent with federal hours)
• 2 years probation (concurrent with federal)

"It is important [for the public] to see the person who transgressed," Leon said, adding that Brown should volunteer during the week "where you can be seen, where you can be visible so it will be a constant reminder."

Brown will also have two years of probation. He faced up to six months in jail.

At a second hearing date for a misdemeanor campaign finance charge in D.C. Superior Court later on Tuesday, Brown appeared before Judge Juliet McKenna still in his gray suit but without his tie and his wrists and ankles were chained. He was given a sentence that included suspended jail time, to be served at the same time as his federal punishment.

In federal court, Brown appeared tearful as he delivered his prepared statement to the judge, a statement he sat quietly reviewing to himself as he waited for the hearing to begin.

"Nothing's worth the pain that my conduct has caused on the people I love," Brown said, his voice shaking. He added later: "I truly realize what I have thrown away [because] of my conduct. I've been embarrassed and publicly humiliated."

Unlike at his guilty plea hearing, Brown's mother and wife were present Tuesday for his sentencing. Brown has admitted that he falsified documents to secure a pair of loans totaling more than $200,000.

Prosecutors had recommended six days in jail over three weekends while Brown had requested no jail time and 200 hours of community service.

After the hearing, Brown's attorney Fred Cooke told reporters he understood that Leon's interpretation of the law mandated that Brown get jail time even though he had argued for none.

"As difficult as it is, the judge made the compromise that I think is probably the best he could do," he said.

Cooke also quieted rumors that Brown may pursue the at-large council seat that will be filled next year in a special election.

"I don't think Mr. Brown has any interest in pursuing elected office," he said. He did add that his client had been entertaining job options with several employers but declined to name which firms.

lfarmer@washingtonexaminer.com

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