D.C. Council chair Kwame Brown expected to resign

Washington, D.C. City Council Chairman Kwame Brown, center, says goodbye while leaving his office in Washington, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Brown was charged Wednesday with lying about his income on loan applications, the latest allegation of criminal wrongdoing to roil the local government in the nation\'s capital. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON – Plans are underway for the chairman of the D.C. Council, Kwame Brown, to resign. Brown has been charged with one felony count of bank fraud in response to a federal investigation.

Sources say Brown is expected to enter a guilty plea at a hearing Friday.

When Brown left his office Wednesday afternoon, he smiled at reporters and said he would make a public statement Thursday.

WTOP’s Mark Segraves reports when Brown left his office reporters descended on him, resulting in people being pushed and shoved.

Before coming out, Brown and his staff gathered in a circle, holding hands behind a locked door. At one point, staffers chanted “Kwame,” Segraves reports.

Council members filed in and out Brown’s office Wednesday, including Councilmember Mary Cheh, D-Ward 3, the chairman pro-tempore of the council who would inherit Brown’s seat temporarily if he resigns. The council would then elect an interim chairman.

Brown told his colleagues on the council Wednesday that he is resigning as head of the council’s Economic Development Committee, the Washington Post first reported, a position he coveted and a signal that he may be preparing to fully resign the chairmanship he won in the 2010 election.

The fraud charge was filed in criminal information, which indicates that both the prosecution and defendant have agreed to the terms, and that the defendant plans to plead guilty.

The charges are not related to an investigation into misallocation of campaign funds in 2008.

Brown refused to answer questions Tuesday about rumors that federal investigators had revealed part of their case against him. The charges state that Brown overstated his income on a bank loan application.

The chairman was also criticized last year for requesting the Department of Public Works use more than $60,000 of public money to purchase a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator. He subsequently returned the SUV.

Wednesday’s charges come six months after then-Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty to stealing more than $350,000 in city funds.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)