From Council Member Tommy Wells’ office:
Councilmember Tommy Wells issued the following statement after yesterday’s guilty plea by former Councilmember Michael Brown on bribery charges and last evening’s presentation of facts by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen.
Councilmember Wells’ statement:
“This is pay-to-play laid bare.
The culture of corruption appears deep and pervasive — and it has broken the public trust with our city’s elected leaders.
This is why I continue to call for tougher medicine for DC elected officials. The Council passed the buck on meaningful ethics reform and it must be fixed. This Council voted 12-1 to defeat every effort to curb pay-to-play that I put forward and instead chose to protect business as usual, and protect their privilege. Nothing can stop our communities’ progress faster than a continued culture of corruption.
This is the time for leadership. This Council must move forward with strong and aggressive reforms that have real teeth to fill the gaps where so-called reform left the city coming up short.”
From a Washington Post Editorial:
Brown accepted $55,000 in return for helping what he thought was a business seeking contracting opportunities. In reality, representatives of the business were undercover FBI agents. Mr. Brown faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although sentencing guidelines call for less.