Michael Brown Took $100K+ In Off-the-Books Help for 2008 At-Large Run
Disgraced former At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown has admitting receiving more illicit help from an individual resembling businessman Jeff Thompson in his 2008 run for office, according to new court filings.
Brown already admitted receiving off-the-books money from the unnamed businessman in an unsuccessful 2007 Ward 4 run after he was caught in an FBI bribery sting last June. But the new finance violations, discovered by investigators after he pleaded guilty last year, could add another six months onto his sentence, bringing it to 43 months in prison.
In October 2008, Brown's at-large campaign against Democrat Kwame Brown, Republican Pat Mara, and a write-in bid by incumbent Republican Councilmember Carol Schwartz was bouncing checks. He went to the businessman and asked for help, with the businessman—described in court documents as Co-Conspirator 1—deciding to do it surreptitiously because of what are described in the new statement of offense "the contemporaneous political dynamics."
After the meeting, Brown met with Thompson associate Jeanne Clarke Harris, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to her role in the shadow campaign for Vince Gray. Brown gave Harris a list of expenses, according to the new court papers.
Harris, acting on behalf of Co-Conspirator 1, went on to send a vendor $35,000 through her company to help Brown. A day before the election, Harris gave Brown a check worth $44,150, which he then broke up into $39,850 in cash and a $4,300 cashier's check. Brown gave the money to a consultant to increase voter turnout, according to the statement of offense. The businessman spent more than $100,000 on Brown's successful election campaign, according to the new filing.
Thompson's attorney, Brendan Sullivan, couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the new filing.
Read Brown's amended statement of offense below. The new portion starts on page 31.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery