The District's campaign finance watchdogs initiated a formal investigation Thursday into the fundraising reports of D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large). The review comes in response to a complaint filed by former council member Vincent Orange, Brown's rival in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary contest to succeed council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.
Last week, Orange staged a news conference outside the Office of Campaign Finance to highlight what he said were inaccuracies and irregularities in Brown's reporting for two previous elections. Campaign finance officials initially sought information from Brown about why he was making payments from a 2008 account this spring, and why a separate account from his 2004 campaign owed money to the Internal Revenue Service.
In responding to campaign finance officials last week, Brown's campaign acknowledged errors in its reporting. But in a letter to Brown on Thursday, the director of the office said, "in view of the gravity of the allegations and additional issues that have arisen from our preliminary review, OCF has determined that a full investigation into this matter is warranted."
Brown's campaign said it would cooperate with the investigation.
"This is a routine response to a request for an investigation," said Brown's spokesman, James Jones. "We have provided the office of campaign finance with all the information they requested and will work with the office to fully resolve any questions they may have."