Longtime Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown is facing federal fraud and conspiracy charges related to her involvement with an educational charity.
In a statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, said Brown seemed to have treated the charity as a "personal slush fund". Her current Fifth District stretches from Jacksonville to near Orlando. District five has been reconfigured from its winding North-South orientation to run East-West: from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.
"I know her heart for the community and her trying to do the right things by particularly disadvantaged people, and I believe that any entity that was established was established for that goal", said Gibson.
"She has been a voice for the voiceless, a liberator for those who have been oppressed she has fought tirelessly for those beyond race, creed, nationality and religion".
WASHINGTON-Congresswoman Corrine Brown has stepped down as senior Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee following her indictment on fraud charges. The indictment comes after an investigation into the charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc. Among other scrapes, in 1998, Brown was admonished by the Federal Election Commission for her campaign's forging of the signature of a campaign treasurer on reports.
The 24-count indictment covers multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail and wire fraud, concealing facts on required financial disclosure forms, theft of government property and filing false tax returns, according to the Justice Department.
As of now, the trial is set for early September.
"I promise all the voters of the 5th Congressional District I intend to carry the torch of equality, decency and honesty to Congress and to make everyone proud", Lawson wrote.
As chief of staff, he was paid about $161,000 past year, according to Congressional records. Federal prosecutors say the charity was supposed to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates. She also referred to then-Coach Urban Meyer as "Irvin Meyers" and expressed distaste for the idea of a college football playoff system, adding that "everything is just not all equal". She was surrounded by supporters outside the courthouse, some carrying signs. The incumbent's lead was well within the poll's margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. The congresswoman faces up to 357 years in prison if convicted on all charges.