A shock but not a surprise


Former D.C. Council member Michael Brown brushed off his money troubles for years but now his lawyer says they led him to take a $55,000 bribe. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

All the signs were there: Lawsuits, tax liens, missed rent payments, mortgage troubles. But Michael A. Brown brushed off his panoply of financial issues over the years, happy to let the perception bloom that he was a well-off guy who just had trouble with deadlines and paperwork. On Friday, however, a federal bribery charge revealed that Brown, in fact, had been experiencing “severe financial difficulty,” in his lawyer’s words, that led him to accept $55,000 from undercover agents. Some questions remain: What did he do for the money? What predicate did investigators have for targeting him with a sting? Could this be the first time Brown took a bribe or did other illegal favors? More is expected to be revealed this afternoon, when Brown enters his guilty plea. More from NYTWaTimesExaminerDCist.

In other news:

Brown’s alleged crime got underway a day after key Gray campaign figure’s guilty plea (Loose Lips)

He’s hired some top-flight white-collar defense lawyers (Legal Times)

“[S]eeing three people who held high elected office in the District charged with federal felonies within a year and a half is just plain depressing” (Post editorial)

And things seemed to be going pretty well for the D.C. Council there for a minute (Examiner)

Vincent Gray is pretty quiet about the whole thing (WRC-TV)

Even though the alleged Brown bribe doesn’t appear to have anything to do with campaign finance, charge prompts calls for campaign finance reform (WAMU-FM)

Jack Evans kicks off his second mayor run (PostLoose LipsWRC-TVDCistWTOPWAMU-FMG’town Dish)

Increasingly mainstream Capital Pride parade kicks off the mayoral campaign season (PostBlade)

Here’s what health insurance will cost on the new D.C. exchange (PostWonkblog)

Children’s National Medical Center, owed $8.4 million, is the biggest loser from Chartered Health Plan collapse (Post column)

Howard University trustee: “Howard will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now” (PostChronicle of Higher Education)

Clogged fuel filter, not EPA-required exhaust system, shut down ambulance (PostWUSA-TV)

A critique of David Catania’s “imperious” foray into education policymaking (Post editorial)

Readers react: Is Kaya Henderson any different than Michelle Rhee? (Informer)

Vincent Gray’s DCPS chartering bill is in the hopper (Post)

“Metrorail is a slow-rolling embarrassment whose creeping obsolescence is so pervasive, and so corrosive, that Washingtonians are increasingly abandoning it” (Post editorial)

Why gay marriage fight is a good model for statehood activism (Post op-ed)

How rejection of GWU Hospital’s transplant application illustrates folly of D.C.’s “certificate of need” process (Reason)

A community meeting on the McMillan site got kind of messy (Curbed)

More on report critiquing D.C. Water’s local hiring (Housing Complex)

Firefighter on Frager’s: “They will bulldoze it” (Hill Rag)

Frager’s opens Eastern Market pop-up (PostWJLA-TVWUSA-TVExaminerDCistWRC-TVWTOPWaTimesWAMU-FM)

Miller brothers’ Fundrise has gotten great press but is a mediocre investment (Capital Business)

Hill East native Joshua Morgan is now a Washington Redskin (Post)

D.C. United failed to provide worker’s comp to players, judge finds (Soccer Insider)

Police focus summer crime efforts on Edgewood, Trinidad, Kenilworth and Shipley Terrace (Post)

Guilty plea in Petworth killing of Takoma Park teen (Post)

Alleged alfresco stick-up man is arrested (PostWTOP)

Suspect arrested in Forest Hills attempted sexual assault (WUSA-TV)

Carjacking at Key Bridge Exxon (Post)

Girl, 14, shot in leg in public housing area near Nationals Park (WRC-TV)

Some brilliant gentleman rode a motor scooter through the Gallery Place Metro station (WJLA-TV)

Bloomingdale buyers are getting “priced out” (Post)

Another outdoor movie series, this one in Dupont Circle (WTOP)

Why Ginnie Cooper is awesome, in video form (YouTube)

Yards Park in line for Urban Land Institute prize (Housing Complex)

In Cleveland, a fake Washington (Post column)

“Symbolic mass grave” on the Mall (WTOP)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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Mike DeBonis · June 7, 2013