Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has been sentenced to one day in custody and six months of home detention for his bank fraud conviction. Brown will also be under supervised release for two years and have to complete 480 hours of community service, a federal judge ruled in court today.
Brown spent the remainder of the day Tuesday in the custody of the U.S. Marshals. He left the courthouse for a couple hours to attend a sentencing hearing for a different charge, a campaign finance violation. That misdemeanor carries a $250 fine.
Brown choked up as he stood before federal Judge Richard Leon in federal court and apologized for his actions.
"I am not a victim, it was stupid, I was wrong," Brown said.
Brown resigned in June from the council and pleaded guilty to both crimes. Both the prosecutors and Brown's defense attorney credit Brown for admitting his crimes right away to investigators and for cooperating fully in the ongoing probe of corruption in within the District government.
The judge appeared to side with Brown's attorney during sentencing — prosecutors had wanted six days in jail for Brown. But the judge also ordered six months of home detention with electronic monitoring.
Leon also told Brown that he wanted the former lawmaker to complete 480 hours of community service at a place where his work will be visible and serve as a constant reminder to others that no one is above the law.
Prosecutors said in a pre-sentencing memo that Brown's crime is serious, noting, "The defendant did not commit bank fraud to feed his family, pay a medical bill, or give money to the poor. He did this so he could own a 39-foot, 330-horsepower boat, a luxury few people can afford."
Brown's attorney, Fred Cooke, argued the former politician should not serve any time in jail because Brown is a nonviolent, first-time offender who has suffered public humiliation, lost his job and cooperated fully with prosecutors.
The former chairman has been replaced on the D.C. Council by Phil Mendelson, who easily won last week's race to permanently fill the seat.