The Washington Post

Kwame Brown attorney refusing to talk

The treasurer for D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown’s 2008 council race spent almost two hours Monday meeting with Office of Campaign Finance officials investigating widespread irregularities on his campaign finance report.

Dawn Cromer was summoned to appear before OCF officials after a recently completed audit that found Brown’s 2008 campaign failed to initially report a quarter-million dollars in contributions and expenditures.

Cromer arrived at OCF’s office accompanied by attorney Fred D. Cooke and Brown’s father, Marshall Brown. The hearing was not open to the public, but the three were spotted entering the office shortly before 10:30 a.m. Five minutes later, however, Marshall Brown exited the room after he was apparently told he was not an official party to the investigation.

Cooke refused to answer numerous questions from reporters about the proceedings. When a reporter asked Marshall Brown why he was there, Cooke shouted, “Don’t answer, please.”

OCF appears to be in the final stages of its six-month probe into how Kwame Brown, when he was running for a second term on the council, raised and spent his campaign funds.

According to an audit released by OCF two weeks ago, Brown’s 2008 campaign failed to account for 221 contributions, plus other revenue, totaling $133,701. The campaign also never reported 53 expenditures totaling $169,431, according to the audit.

The audit also alleges that the Brown campaign used a now-defunct political consulting firm to pass $239,000 to a firm operated by his brother, Che Brown.

Wesley Williams, an OCF spokesman, said Monday’s proceedings were held behind closed doors because it was “part of the investigative process.”

“An investigation is always closed until its completed,” Williams said.

According to OCF records, Brown could be fined more than $50 for each day his campaign was in violation of campaign finance regulations. The Washington Post editorial board is also calling on OCF to refer the case to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.


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