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Politics

Corrine Brown's Chief of Staff Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

February 8, 2017 - 3:45pm
Corrine Brown
Corrine Brown

The federal scandal involving former Florida congresswoman Corrine Brown entered a new chapter on Tuesday when her chief of staff and co-defendant Ronnie Simmons entered a guilty plea to 18 counts against him in federal court.

“After reviewing 40 thousand documents with my client, studying the evidence compiled by the government and after numerous gut retching sessions in which reality and conscious collided, Ronnie Simmons has decided to end his battle and admit his responsibility for misdeeds which he committed,” Simmons’ attorney wrote in a letter obtained by First News in Jacksonville Wednesday.

Simmons pleaded guilty on two counts to conspiracy and corruption felonies: conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft of government funds.

The former chief of staff said he helped create a fake charity and used the money raised from that charity to put more jingle in his and Brown’s pockets. Both he and brown are accused of using the money from the charity as their own personal funding source.

Simmons also admitted he hired a member of his family for a different job in Brown’s administration and that they shared funds from the salary via a joint checking account.

Part of Simmons’ plea requires him to surrender his Fifth Amendment rights, which would protect him from being called as a witness against himself. 

Simmons’ attorney said he agreed to the plea when he realized he would not be fully acquitted of all charges. 

The maximum penalty for the charges against Simmons is 30 years and prison and a $500,000 fine, but his attorneys say he will get off with a lighter sentence where he will only have to pay $50,000 -- but he will be forced to testify against his former boss, 12-term congresswoman Brown.

Once he is sentenced, the remaining charges against him will be dropped.

Brown maintains her innocence, but the backlash over her indictment has already had catastrophic effects on her career. She ran for reelection in November but lost to Al Lawson, who now sits in her seat in Washington, D.C. 

“Ronnie is aware...he has a price to pay for the mistakes,” his attorney wrote. “He is ready. He has no guarantees or promises as to what his sentence would be other than what the federal guidelines indicate. Nonetheless, he has confidence that his decision will bring him and his family peace after a long year of struggle and anxiety.”

 

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

 


 

Comments

Ms. Brown is a complete utter disgrace stealing from a charity she WILL be put in jail. She did this to herself do some research she is a horrible person..

Corrine... join orange is the new black..

Harsh way to finally get term limits for my house district

Dishonest politicians hire other dishonest people. It's their culture. No surprise. Go figure.

Corrine Brown should be "Tarred, Feathered and Run Out of Town" (among other penalties) and Veterans would 'line the road' she is "run out on". 24 years in Congress this woman has been a disgrace and a prime example of the corruption premeating Congress!!! Good riddance Corrine Brown, go to jail, or go to Hell... or BOTH !

Of all the crooked politicians they have to drain the swamp starting with a black woman, who is nothing but a "token" to begin with. What in the hell were she and Simmons thinking? She's a house servant her name ain't Hillary or Bill Clinton or any of the other high brass folk that can rip off a country in the name of "Charity" her name ain't Nixon she doesn't have White skin, she was never really accepted in that league, she was just a token face that they needed. What was she thinking or was she heavily influenced by those rascals up there that generally get away with it. Did this woman have a gray area? Did she for forget where she fits in the scheme of things? This thing is so devastating. With all the evil, criminal activity and dysfunction going on in politics, they got'a put a Black Woman in jail? They have committed some of the worst human atrocities in history. The bombing and killing of innocent people all over the world, calling it the Art of War. The annihilation of humans and this precious earth that we live on, the boiling of human beings alive! The slavry, the trafficking of drugs, the OIL issue and murder, and drinking of the blood of innocent babies and children for the sake of oaths and ritual. And the best you can do is throw a Black Woman in the Pen? Making it look like your draining the swamp....Poppycock! Gregory was right. America is a person who works in a steel mill. It is 130 degrees, your sweating so profusely that your blue uniform turns white. You then go to your second job shackling hogs and from there you go home and change your clothes without taking a bath. You put on a Perry Ellis suit and a pair of Stefano Ricci shoes because you're invited to a red carpet affair like the "White House Correspondents Dinner" for example. People, as well as yourself, is wondering what smells so bad. Something stinks! That's America for you. She just changed her outfit but didn't take a bath! and she's stinking up a storm. How dare you put that Black Woman in jail. I'm not pulling the race card at all! Something is stinky......And to take the attention off yourself you're going to put this Black Woman in jail for pinching off some crumbs? You should be ashamed of yourself.....

Obama did it too, and he was black. What's the point of this?

"I'm not pulling the race card." Are you sure?

We trusted you Corrie Brown and you screwed us......... time for you to pay the dues. Bad Girl Bad Girl what you gonna do when they come for you!

As is so often the case when politicians get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, both Simmons and Brown will probably get off with a slap on the wrist but if the average Joe had been found guilty he'd be in jail for years to come.

I'll bet 90% of our politicians are guilty of crimes. Prior to election they maybe held $100K a year jobs. Yet, after 5 or 6 yrs in office they are millionaires. Where's that money coming from?

Time for MS. Brown to don an orange jumpsuit. What thieves "drain the swamp."

Comments are now closed.

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