D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown, the District's second-highest-ranking elected official, resigned last night after being charged with one count of federal bank fraud. Prosecutors say he falsified records in applications to obtain a home loan and to buy a $50,000 powerboat, inflating his income by "tens of thousands of dollars," the Washington Post reports.
"Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this time," Brown wrote in a letter to the council secretary. "I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions." …
Brown, dogged for months by an investigation into his personal finances and his 2008 campaign for a council seat, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, Brown will face far less potential punishment.
The disclosure of the charges set off a frenzy of activity at the District's John A. Wilson Building, including a hastily scheduled closed-door council meeting in Brown's office.
Brown, 41, submitted his resignation quietly, in a letter delivered privately. He refused to address a platoon of reporters as he left his council offices about 4 p.m.
Read more at the Washington Post.