When it comes to Brown’s claims: Trust, but verify.
Case in point: Dave McKenna’s piece in the Aug. 20, 2010, Washington City Paper debunking Brown’s claim to have been a high school All-Met basketball star.
Then there’s Brown’s claim on the Web sites of the D.C. Council and the Madison Group lobbying firm, where Brown now works, that he has “represented various foreign governments.”
I pursued that claim in a July 22 column. I didn’t get very far. Brown said he couldn’t talk about former clients, and he referred me to the Justice Department agency through which entities acting as agents of foreign principals must register. Brown did identify two governments — Benin and Ghana — and a “quasi-governmental organization,” Nigeria’s National Council on Privatization, as clients.
Following his suggestion, I reviewed records in Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act’s unit. I found no record of Brown’s claimed representation of foreign governments. I advised him of my findings.
Brown wrote in an Aug. 2 e-mail to me: “My representation of all foreign clients was of a business/commercial nature and did not trigger disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act or the Lobbying Disclosure Act.”
He also cited, as reasons not to discuss foreign clients, the D.C. Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct, and its provision regarding attorney-client privilege and the protection of a client’s “confidence.”
But Brown is not a licensed attorney in the District. He hasn’t passed a D.C. Bar examination. He could, however, be covered by the rules if he was working under a lawyer’s supervision, a bar official told me.
Brown, in an e-mail, said he was being singled out, and he called my examination of his former clients and employment “misdirected” and “regretful and irresponsible.”
So he says. And D.C. voters?