US

DC Government Now Taking Ethics Advice From Ex-Councilman Convicted Of Bribery

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

City government employees in Washington, D.C., will be forced to sit through ethics presentations from a former city councilman who is currently serving prison time for taking bribes.

Upon his release from prison, former D.C. city councilman Michael Brown will conduct 12 live, in-person presentations to government employees about the importance of ethics in government and his experience in not having any ethics, according to a disposition released last week by the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability.

Brown is in the process of serving 39 months in federal prison for taking a bribe from under-cover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who were posing as business owners looking to secure a city contract.

In an attempt to get the fictitious company classified as a Certified Business Enterprise — a class of businesses picked first for city contracts — Brown contacted the directors of two different city agencies who needed to approve the company’s permit.

Brown was arrested by federal agents in March of 2013 after taking a gym bag stuffed with wads of cash totaling $55,000 from one of the undercover agents. He pleaded guilty in June of that same year.

Also as part of his settlement, Brown will be forced to pay the city a fine of $12,000 and complete 200 hours of community service with in two years of his prison release.

The goal of Brown’s presentations will be to “educate government employees on the risks inherent in engaging in unethical conduct related to their government employment,” according to the disposition.

Brown will be tasked with conveying the message that such conduct must be avoided.

Darrin Sobin, director of government ethics at BEGA, said in an email the training sessions will be open to all government employees, including city council members and their staff, but the agency is still working out the details of how the presentations will work.

Sobin said this is the first time BEGA has attempted anything like the anti-corruption presentations as part of a negotiation and he hopes to have at least one of the sessions open to the public.

Brown is far from the first D.C. city council member to be taken down on corruption charges. Former council members Kwame Brown and Harry Thomas, Jr. also lost their seats on the council after pleading guilty to financial wrongdoing.

Kwame Brown pleaded guilty to bank fraud in June of 2012 and Thomas, Jr. pleaded guilty in January of 2012 for embezzling more than $350,000 in funds meant to help underprivileged children purchase sports equipment.

Follow Josh on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.