Judge refuses Kwame Brown request to leave D.C.

Local,DC,Alan Blinder

A federal judge refused Monday to allow former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown to travel to North Carolina for a higher education program he championed while in office.

Brown, who is serving a sentence of 180 days of house arrest after pleading guilty to bank fraud last summer, had asked U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon for permission to leave the D.C. area on Saturday "to continue the important work of taking these students from low-income families to North Carolina to talk to college recruiters."

The bus trip, Brown's lawyer added in a court filing, would have given Brown "another opportunity to talk to young people about the value of obeying the law."

Federal prosecutors did not oppose the request, but in an order Monday, Leon ruled that Brown, who emphasized education issues during his tenure as a city lawmaker, couldn't go.

Leon, who tangled with Brown last year about violations of his terms of release, did not offer any explanation for his decision.

Brown lawyer Frederick Cooke Jr. said in his motion that Brown has been involved in the College Roundup program for four years and said it has assisted more than 550 students from the District.SClB

Reached by telephone Monday, Brown declined to comment.

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