Jacksonville, FL — Less than a month ahead of a sentencing hearing for the 18 federal charges she was convicted of, former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown is asking for more time to prepare.
FULL COVERAGE: The trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown
A motion filed by her defense says Brown has been displaced since September 9th because of Hurricane Irma, and that FEMA told her the home is uninhabitable. Her defense further says many of Brown’s personal papers and effects were destroyed in the storm, and that has severely impacted the ability of her and others to prepare for sentencing.
The sentencing hearing is currently slated to begin November 16th, but the defense is asking for at least an additional four months. The federal court docket says the judge has given the government until the end of the day Thursday to respond, but the defense motion notes prosecutors object to the request.
Brown is out on bond, pending the sentencing hearing.
Brown was convicted in May on 18 of 22 charges- many fraud related- for her role in soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars to a sham charity called "One Door For Education", and using the money instead on personal expenses and lavish events. Brown was also found guilty of not reporting that income on her tax records or financial disclosure forms, while overreporting charitable contributions. She was acquitted on the remaining four charges. Brown had claimed she mismanaged her offices and finanances, but didn't intentionally engage in criminal action.
Her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of One Door Carla Wiley both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown during the trial. Both Simmons and Wiley have sentencing hearings set for November 15th.
The defense previously moved for an acquittal, saying the government hadn't established the essential elements of the case. The defense also previously motioned for a new trial, saying the judge improperly dismissed a juror who said the "Holy Spirit" told him Brown was not guilty. Both of those motions were denied by the judge.