Brown had six run-ins with law enforcement before landing D.C. job

Sulaimon Brown was acquitted of attampted murder in Chicago.
Sulaimon Brown was acquitted of attampted murder in Chicago.
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By Nikita Stewart
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Former D.C. mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown had had six run-ins with law enforcement, including three charges in the District and an attempted-murder charge in Chicago, at the time he received a $110,000-a-year job in the administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, said city officials and sources close to Gray.

The administration knew of the three D.C. charges - in addition to a protective order and one conviction in the District for unlawful entry - before offering Brown the job as an analyst at the Department of Health Care Finance.

Gray transition officials did not discover the 1988 attempted-murder charge in Chicago, for which Brown was acquitted, or a 2008 arrest on suspicion of assault in East Orange, N.J., for which he was not indicted, said a source close to Gray's transition team who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Officials with the health-care agency told Brown on Jan. 26 - five days before he began work - that they wanted to perform a background check, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post.

Brown told the officials there was no need. He directed them to Gerri Mason Hall, the mayor's chief of staff, who he said would vouch for him. "Please contact Gerri Mason Hall, as it relates to that," Brown wrote in one of the e-mails. "Her office has already done a complete background check on me. I was placed with you by her office."

Hall declined to comment Monday.

WUSA (Channel 9) reported Sunday that Gray's transition team learned of the Chicago and New Jersey charges, which were mentioned in a "confidential" report dated March 9, two weeks after Brown was fired by the District.

Brown has said that his record did not prevent him from getting the position with the Gray administration, and he got a job in 2005 as a special police officer at the University of the District of Columbia.

Brown's background is under scrutiny in the wake of his allegations that Gray promised him the city job in return for criticizing then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty during last year's Democratic primary.

Brown also says that Gray's campaign chief, Lorraine Green, and campaign consultant Howard Brooks gave Brown payments that allowed him to keep his campaign afloat. The Post did not independently verify any payments. Gray, Green and Brooks have denied the allegations, which the U.S. attorney's office said were being "assessed."

About two weeks ago, Gray (D) spoke at a news conference at which reporters asked about Brown's six-figure job. "I see it as somebody who applied for the job and was qualified for the job and was hired," Gray said. "We believe he has the skills and the qualifications to do the job."

Brown was fired the next day.

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