The Washington Post

Brown says records are under “grand jury subpoena”

Sulaimon Brown says the records that a special D.C. Council committee is seeking through a court order are in the hands of the FBI under grand jury subpoena.

Brown, a former mayoral candidate, says he was paid and promised a city job last year by then mayoral candidate and current Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s staff to disparage former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Brown filed a response, which included a June 28 federal grand jury subpoena, to the committee’s subpoena.

The special committee is investigating the hiring practices of the Gray administration.

Though the special committee recently issued a report that concluded that Brown was paid, the committee is still seeking Brown’s records, and Brown is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15 on the matter.

In a letter to Superior Court Judge Judith N. Macaluso, Brown explains that the documents “are no longer in my possession.”

Macaluso is the judge in the council’s efforts to enforce the subpoena.

“The council is expressing to the courts and public that I’m being dilatory. I’m not being dilatory; I’m following different set of instructions from parallel investigations all investigating the same thing,” Brown wrote in the Aug. 12 letter.

James W. Rudasill Jr., Brown’s attorney, sent a notice of the response Friday to V. David Zvenyach, general counsel to the council. The notice made Brown’s cooperation with the grand jury public.

The June 28 grand jury subpoena “commanded” Brown to appear or to provide records on July 12. Documents requested included copies of personal checks, cashier’s checks, moeny orders, gifts and anything or value “provided directly or indirectly by Lorraine Green, Howard Brooks, Vincent Gray and/or any member of Gray’s Council staff, campaign staff, transition staff, or Mayoral staff to Sulaimon Brown and/or Sulaimon Brown for Mayor.”

An accompanying June 28 letter from U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. and assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Chubin Epstein, tells Brown that he was “requested not to disclose the existence of this subpoena.”

“Any disclosure could impede the investigation being conducted and thereby interfere with the enforcement of the law,” the letter reads.

Brown has said that Howard Brooks, a Gray campaign staffer, gave him money orders and cash — a task that was handed off by Green, chairman of Gray’s campaign and transition.

Gray, Brooks and Green have denied the allegations.

Brown would not comment Tuesday.


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