Michael Brown’s Ex-Campaign Treasurer Faces 16 Months in Plea Deal
Working as the treasurer for Councilmember Michael Brown's re-election 2012 campaign sent Hakim Sutton to Las Vegas, Rehoboth Beach, and even Greece, according to prosecutors. And now, it's about to send him to prison.
In a court hearing today, both the U.S. Attorney's Office and Sutton's own attorney agreed that Sutton has agreed to sign a plea deal. Under the terms of the deal, Sutton will plead guilty to tax evasion and filing false campaign finance reports. The deal asks for between 10 and 16 months in prison, while Sutton would agree to pay back more than $18,000 in back taxes.
According to charges filed against Sutton in February, he used his position in Brown's re-election effort to steal more than $115,000 from the campaign treasury. Sutton allegedly blew the money on trips and spending at stores like Gucci, Ferragamo, and Logan Circle clothing and men's underwear purveyor Universal Gear.
Brown caught Sutton before the election. Still, it was too late to stop Sutton's alleged theft of nearly Brown's entire campaign treasury from dooming the incumbent to lose to challenger David Grosso.
Brown got his revenge for the loss, though: According to Brown's attorney, he helped prosecutors with their case against Sutton.
In the end, Sutton's most significant contribution to the District may be in how his original lawyer, J. Wyndal Gordon, treated Brown. Deciding that the best defense is a good offense, Gordon declared that his client's old boss was of a "morally depraved composition." He turned out to be right.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery