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Posted at 03:05 PM ET, 06/08/2012

Kwame Brown speaks on fraud charge

Moments after he pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a home equity line of credit and a loan to purchase a power boat, Kwame R. Brown walked to the front steps of the U.S. District Court building to apologize Friday for his crime.

Brown, who resigned as D.C. Council chairman Wednesday as part of his plea agreement, was emotional and remorseful, but also defiant, as he delivered his four-minute statement. Brown declined to answer questions after he spoke. Here is a text of Brown’s remarks:
Former D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown, followed by his attorney Frederick D. Cooke Jr., leaves federal court in Washington on Friday. (Haraz N. Ghanbari - AP)

I have served this city for over seven years. I love this city. Working for the residents has been an honor. I have worked every day on behalf of the people and have done it just full-heartedly.
But six years ago, I made some very serious mistakes in judgment, and I have taken full and sole responsibility for those mistakes. Those decisions and actions should not have occurred. One of the consequences of those decisions is my resignation as chairman of the council of the District of Columbia.
The almost two-year investigation that led to these guilty pleas began after allegations were made that I either misspent, stole or improperly used 2008 campaign funds. The charges which I have entered the guilty plea are not related to any of those allegations.


D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown runs a gauntlet of reporters after news of his being charged with fraud June 6. (Bill O'Leary - The Washington Post)

The facts are: The government has not charged me with misspending, stealing or improperly using campaign funds. I have not stolen or improperly used any campaign funds from either my 2004, 2008 or 2010 campaigns. I have not stolen or improperly used any public money.
I am not guilty of knowingly setting up a get-out-the-vote, side campaign.
I am guilty of knowing that poll workers and others received more than $50 in cash payments for doing campaign work, which is and has been done in this city for years.
I believe I am the only one, only candidate that has ever been charged with a misdemeanor. Nor have I used my public office or position to improperly benefit or enrich myself.
I want to apologize, from the bottom of my heart, to all of those that I have let down. For the people of this great city, my neighbors and friends, the mayor, my council colleagues, government officials and employees of the government who worked so hard to serve our city.
To my wife of 18 years, my daughter, my son, my dad, my mom, and my family, I sincerely regret the pain that this has caused each of you.
My mother and father have raised me to never be in a situation like this. I want to thank you for your unconditional love and support, which is valuable to me.
It has been a long and difficult journey. Today, I am taking the first steps in regaining the trust and respect of the people that I served and love.
Today I hold my head high. Not because of any pride that I may have in my heart, but it is because I am in God’s hands, and God is able.

Watch his statement:

By  |  03:05 PM ET, 06/08/2012

 
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