An attorney representing the former treasurer of D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown on Wednesday strongly rebutted Brown’s suggestions that his client stole more than $110,000 from the campaign, saying in a statement that the council member “knows the truth” and “has a morally depraved composition.”
J. Wyndal Gordon represents former Brown treasurer Hakim Sutton, and he posted his statement on Facebook a day after Brown (I-At Large) implied that Sutton embezzled $113,950 from the campaign over the past year. Although Brown did not mention Sutton by name, he said he expects that police will soon file charges in the case. Brown also noted that he dismissed Sutton in late June after discovering the funds were missing. Brown is running for reelection in November.
Sutton, a veteran Democratic fundraiser and activist, initially declined to comment.
But Gordon denied that Sutton stole from the campaign, and accused Brown of using Sutton to cover up his own mistakes.
“Brown knows for a fact that no money has been stolen and has been less then (sic) forthright with the public when it comes to concerns about his campaign finance report,” Gordon wrote. “How could someone steal over $110k from an experienced incumbent politician over a 12 mo. (sic) period and the incumbent not know anything about where the money went or that it was even ‘allegedly’ missing? ANSWER: No one could and No one has.”
The Baltimore attorney continued: “We will vigorously and zealously defend Hakim Sutton, his good name, and reputation in this case, — if this matter even becomes a case; and we will reveal to the public the real ‘Michael Brown.’ — Not just his public persona, — but his entirely morally depraved composition.”
Asher Corson, a spokesman for Brown, initially wondered on Wednesday whether Gordon’s comments “were even worthy of a response. ” But said: “Defaming a council member is not going to help his client at this point. He should be worried about the ongoing investigation by the police.”
After Brown first revealed that a “substantial” amount of money was missing from his campaign account, he amended his finance reports late Monday night to account for 34 additional “unexplainable expenditures” over the past year in the amount of $113,950. Brown stated that the expenditures were made to Sutton.
The loss essentially wiped out Brown’s campaign account, leaving him with $18,000 in the bank as of Aug. 10. D.C. police, the U.S. attorney’s office and the Office of Campaign Finance are investigating.
“You mean to tell me that over 2/3 of your campaign treasury was depleted and you knew nothing about it? Incredible, ” Gordon wrote.
In his statement, Gordon noted that no charges have been filed against Sutton. Gordon goes on to suggest that some of the money may have personally benefited Brown.
“If charges are actually filed by the Government, the public will soon find out where the money was going and by whose authority and direction it was sent,” Gordon wrote. “It will also find out about the skullduggery and debauchery Brown has been known to frequently engaged.”
Corson said the Brown campaign will not respond to specific charges from Gordon.
But in an interview Wednesday, Gordon said Brown never consulted his client before announcing the missing funds to the media and pointed to the council member’s string of financial problems.
“It is a political play to have him look like victim. There are no victims here, only volunteers,” Gordon said. “We are very angry about this.”
In recent years, Gordon has been known for having represented John Allen Muhammad, the so-called Beltway Sniper who was executed in 2009.