District of Columbia Council Chairman Kwame Brown has probably barely broken in the chair or new desk in his new office. And in the weeks and months ahead, things will likely get more uncomfortable given the scandals that have enveloped the new chairman.
Voters seemed to forgive Brown when it was discovered, during his 2010 campaign, that he had personal money troubles, including $50,000 in credit card debt.
But news this week that Chairman Brown may have failed to disclose $250,000 in campaign funds—coming on the heels of “SUV-gate, the revelation of Brown’s request for a “fully-loaded” SUV and the resulting hefty costs to the city—is tipping the scale of public opinion.
The Washington Post on March 13 reported that the Office of Campaign Finance “mistakenly or inadvertently” leaked findings that Brown may have failed to report a quarter-million dollars in contributions and expenses during his 2008 bid for reelection to the D.C. Council. The office launched an audit of Brown’s campaign finances last September after officials became concerned about irregularities in his report.
Here, District residents sound off on the scandals and whether the Council chairman will or should resign.
Alfred Coates, retired government worker: “Yes, he should resign because every time someone gets in these high political positions they end up doing something wrong unless strong ethical standards are established. If there’s evidence that he committed something unethical, he should resign before it ruins his life.”
Dion Lightfoot, audio visual technician: “With all the bad press, scrutiny and investigations at different levels, I think he’s going to resign. It makes you think he was doing this for years and got away with it until now. He’s lost all credibility.”
Frederick Mudd, retired brick mason: “I think he’s going to resign with the situation the way it is. But I don’t think he should because despite all the allegations, he’s doing a good job.”
Florita Walker, mother of 11 children: “I don’t think he should resign. As far as I know he’s doing a good job. People can always find something negative when they need to focus on the good.”
Roxanne Armstead, new resident: “He should resign on his own. Remaining would bring too much controversy to D.C politics.”
Kimberley Bennett and daughter, Bryjeh Armstead, northwest residents: “He needs to admit what he did publicly. Charges should be brought against him and he should pay for his crime. I hope the AFRO keeps this issue in the paper until the end. Many times things like this are on the front page one week and when the person is convicted there’s little coverage.
Valencia Mohammed reported on this story.