D.C. Council member Kwame Brown (D-At Large), who wants to take over the council's top job and control the District's purse strings, acknowledged Thursday that he has maxed out three credit cards for a total of almost $50,000.
Brown, a candidate to succeed Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), said he and his wife have worked out a repayment schedule with their creditors and are using a "disciplined budget."
"It's unfortunate," he said. "These are tough times for a lot of families and we're no exception."
Court documents obtained by News4's Tom Sherwood show that Brown owes "more than $50,000 in overdue payments, late fees and attorney costs."
Brown said his personal financial troubles would not affect his ability to lead the council, which last month closed a projected $550 million budget gap for fiscal 2011.
"Professionally, I have always worked hard to look at how we spend our money and to find ways to save money," Brown said.
Brown said the purchases that led to the repayment plan were made over several years on day-to-day items, such as violin lessons and after-school care for his two children. "It just trickles and trickles," he said. "It is what is and we're moving forward as a family."
Brown is running against former council member Vincent Orange, an attorney and accountant who has accused the council of overspending.
This post has been updated since it was first published.