The Washington Post

Sulaimon Brown to appear before judge

Sulaimon Brown agreed Tuesday to testify before a D.C. Council committee June 6 — the first time he will answer questions under oath in public.

Brown ended his fight against a council subpoena before a Superior Court judge after a council attorney testified that Brown’s roommate has been served last Friday.

The 1 p.m. hearing before Superior Court Judge Judith Macaluso is in connection with a D.C. Council investigation of Gray’s hiring practices. The council has sought Brown’s testimony, but it has struggled to physically serve him with a subpoena, and Brown has otherwise refused to appear. The council filed a petition in D.C. Superior Court seeking a court order to have Brown testify before the council. But last week, Macaluso told lawyers for the council that mailing Brown a notice of the council’s petition was not enough to compel Brown’s appearance in court for a hearing on the petition.

Brown said in a text message last night that he would appear today “under judge’s orders.” He is not expected to speak about the substance of his allegations against Gray, but will probably argue why he should not be compelled to testify before the council. Brown said in court he has been told by federal investigators not to discuss certain subjects.

Brown initially fought the council’s right to call him to testify, but Macaluso said Brown’s argument had no bearing on the council’s subpoena power. He then asked Macaluso to limit the time he would have to testify.

“I have no interest in sitting there for 5, 6, 7, 8 hours,” Brown said. “I’m not gonna do it.”

She refused to limit the testimony, though she got Brown and the council to agree to end questioning at 7 p.m. should it continue that late. The council could call him to testify at a later date.

Macaluso said she was “not in a position to prejudge” how long the council would question him.

Brown snapped back, “I’m in a position to prejudge because I’m unemployed.” He said he needed the time to find a job.

Brown said he still thought the council probe was flawed.

“They’ve already come to some kind of conclusion, so I don’t know why they’re dragging me there in the first place,” he said.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

Follow @mikedebonis on Twitter for updates.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.


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