Kwame Brown violated campaign laws, board says

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The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled Thursday that D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown's re-election committee was in "apparent violation" of D.C.'s campaign laws and referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney.

The decision came as no surprise because Brown's attorney, Frederick Cooke, had asked the board to hold its case "in abeyance" and immediately refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney.

Board chairman Togo West told ABC7 that the U.S. Attorney's office came to the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance more than a month ago and took documents related to the Brown case.

"The desire and the best interest o the public is served by getting this to the U.S. Attorney right away," West said.

That office has accused Brown of failure to report contributions, failure to report $170,000 in expenditures and of maintaining a secret bank account with $60,000 in it.

“I look forward to the full investigation. I have every confidence in the men and women that work in the U.S. Attorney’s office and we look forward to moving forward,” Brown said.

He issued a statement saying he is confident the U.S. Attorney's investigation "will not find any criminal wrongdoing by the Committee."

The charges revolve around the 2008 race in which Brown was re-elected as an at-large council member. In 2010 he was elected D.C. Council Chairman.

West said that his board could still come back and levy fines against Brown after the U.S. Attorney decides whether to pursue or drop the case.

Brown could faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from the board.

The U.S. Attorney's Office acknowledged that it is already on the case.

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