Loose Lips

Kwame Brown’s Campaign Slapped With Pointless $45,000 Fine

Whatever his strengths as a Council chairman or auto enthusiastKwame Brown just couldn't run a clean campaign. That's the conclusion LL's drawing from a $45,000 fine Brown's 2010 campaign for chairman received earlier this month from the Office of Campaign Finance.

LL ran down Brown's comically mismanaged 2010 bid when OCF's initial report came out this summer. Among the campaign's misdeeds: paying $215,294 to companies that didn't have a contract with the campaign, failing to get documentation on $134,282 of contributions, and allowing Brown's brother Che Brown to cut $92,260 worth of checks from its funds.

Amazingly, this isn't the heftiest fine levied against a Brown campaign. That distinction belongs to his 2008 At-Large run, which was finally fined $53,400 over the summer by the Board of Elections.

Brown won't be paying a dime of either fine. Neither will anyone else associated with Brown's run, including his brother or treasurer Dawn Cromer, who worked as treasurer for both of the campaigns. OCF spokesman Wesley Williams confirms to LL that, because the fine is restricted to the committee itself ,OCF can't pursue Brown for the money. The committee is out of money; it couldn't even repay $2,700 in excess contributions it was supposed to refund.

Three years after the election, and once the candidate has resigned from office and pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge, LL has to wonder what the point of the fine here is.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • drez

    What a belated, toothless, worthless finding.
    It's as though OCF views their jobs as historians writing the 5th draft of history after the dust has settled and the players have packed up and gone home.

    I hate to say it, but I seriously doubt OCF would ever issue a finding like this on a politician who had not already pled guilty to crimes, let alone one still in office.

    I hope BEGA manages to do better.

  • john labonte

    Because politics requires funding, it's an old sport in DC (and everywhere else) to target politicians like the Council.

    But the real crime is the way mismanagementand dishonesty afflicts every agency in the city. In the Child Support Services Division of the Office of Attorney General, its a common practice for the Director to retaliate against conscientious employees by trumping up charges that "they are a physical threat to the workplace." Such was the allegation (among other) against a talented attorney that raised ethical questions, and was subsequently terminated. And such was the action against a female support staff in June 2013, days after she honored the agency and city by being A Cafritz Finalist for her excellence in public service. At a time when we need investigators to serve thousands of bench warrants to enforce child support, the Director dispatched the Head of OAG's Investigation Section to this employee's private home, ostensibly for the purpose of intimidation. Without question, this is abuse of authority, and resources. Managers in charge of a budget need as much scrutiny as elected officials.

  • Jim


    How much did the SUV debacle caused by Kwame end up costing DC taxpayers?

    Ask DPW Director. Let's see if he gives you a clear answer.

  • Pingback: Campaign finance reform bill heads toward D.C. Council vote

  • Pingback: blue ofica