WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown was sentenced Tuesday to one day in custody and six months of home detention for lying on loan applications.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ordered Brown to spend the remainder of the day in the custody of the U.S. Marshals. He also imposed two years of supervised release and 480 hours of community service.
Brown, 42, was due in D.C. Superior Court later in the day for sentencing on a misdemeanor campaign finance violation.
He admitted to both crimes and gave up his role on the council in June as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
On Tuesday he apologized and said he knew he should have been truthful on applications for a home and boat loan, rather than inflating his income by tens of thousands of dollars.
“It was stupid,” he said of his actions.
Brown said he had been embarrassed and ridiculed, and he asked for leniency.
“I’ve already paid a significant price for my wrongdoing,” Brown said.
Brown’s lawyer, Frederick D. Cooke, argued his client made a “horrible, horrible mistake in judgment” but that no one had been harmed because Brown has met his obligations to repay the loans. He argued his client should get probation and community service. But government prosecutors asked that Brown spend six days in jail, serving that time on weekends.
“The residents of D.C. are watching this case,” prosecutor David Johnson told the judge, asking him to send a message that no one, regardless of their position, is above the law.
Leon told Brown that he believed he had to sentence him to at least a day in custody, both legally and symbolically. But he said he believed Brown could spend his time in better ways than in prison.
Brown, who was elected to the council in 2004 and became its chairman in 2011, became the second council member to resign this year when he stepped down earlier this year. Councilmember Harry L. Thomas Jr. resigned in January after he was accused of stealing more than $350,000 in government funds. Thomas pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May to more than three years in prison.
Fellow councilmember Phil Mendelson has replaced Brown as chairman.
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