Jacksonville, FL — After former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown asks a judge to delay her sentencing hearing because of loss she suffered during Hurricane Irma, the US Attorney's Office has objected to the request.
In the government's response, prosecutors say Brown's motion for a continuance was "bare bones" and didn't explain how losing "personal papers and effects" in Irma impact her ability to prepare for sentencing. The government further says Brown should be treated the same as any other defendant who was affected by Irma, and that they're not aware of any other pending criminal cases in this division that have had a delay, this far out from the storm. The sentencing was set in August, when Brown was denied motions for an acquittal and for a new trial.
FULL COVERAGE:The trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown
Brown has met with her Probation Officer since the hurricane to provide information for a Pre-Sentence Report, according to the government. Prosecutors say completing the meeting shows Brown is, in fact, capable of preparing for her sentencing hearing.
Brown’s motion for a continuance says she lost “personal papers and effects” because of Irma, and that FEMA recently told her her home was uninhabitable. This response from the government says Brown’s defense still maintains access to all available court records through the court’s online system.
The sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for November 16th, but the defense is asking for another four months. Brown's co-defendants, her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of "One Door For Education" Carla Wiley, face sentencing November 15th.
Brown was convicted in May of 18 fraud-related charges for soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars for "One Door"- which was a sham charity- and using the money for personal expenses and lavish events instead. She also failed to report income from One Door on financial disclosures and tax forms, while overreporting charitable donations. Brown says she was negligent in managing her personal finances and affairs, but did not knowingly engage in corruption.
Brown has remained out on bond, pending her sentencing hearing. Simmons and Wiley both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown during her trial. They have remained out on bond as well, pending their sentencings.