It was one of many provocative pronouncements that Brown made during his long-awaited appearance before the council, which went to court last week to compel his testimony.
Beginning with his refusal to remove his sunglasses, Brown managed to draw the ire of the entire dais, calling one council member a racist, implying another wasn’t qualified for her job as a law professor and interrupting just about everyone who questioned him.
Near the end of the four-hour spectacle, council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) told Brown to “shut up.”
For Brown, the hearing provided the biggest stage yet for his allegations, which have dominated the first months of the new mayor’s administration and prompted investigations not only by the council but also the U.S. attorney’s office, the FBI and a congressional committee.
Appearing in public and under oath for the first time, Brown brandished copies of money orders he said were part of the alleged payoffs — though he initially refused to hand over copies to the council.
He said that he received an unknown amount of cash and two money orders — one for $500 and another for $150 — during a fundraiser for Gray (D) at Eatonville, a restaurant, after a Ward 4 debate Aug. 4. He said Gray asked him to step outside with him. “While we were outside, he thanked me,” Brown told council members.
“ ‘I think Howard has something for you,’ ” Brown said Gray told him, referring to campaign consultant Howard L. Brooks. Brown said Brooks gave him the money.
Since March, Brown, a 40-year-old unemployed auditor who was hired for and later dismissed from a $110,000-a-year city job, has rocked city government with allegations of an agreement to be paid and to get a job in the administration if Gray won the mayoral race. Brown has repeatedly said that Brooks and Lorraine Green, chairwoman of Gray’s campaign and transition, gave him payments. Gray, Green and Brooks have denied the allegations.
Gray’s spokeswoman said he had no comment on Brown’s testimony. In the past, Gray has cited the ongoing investigations in declining to comment on the allegations.
Brooks and his son, Peyton M. Brooks, who was also hired and later resigned from a special assistant job, have declined to testify before the council. If called, they said, they would assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
The Washington Post identified connections between three campaign contributions listed in Brown’s campaign finance reports and Peyton Brooks, the younger Brooks’s girlfriend and a cousin of Howard Brooks’s wife. Brown has shared copies of money orders with addresses tied to the three.