Jacksonville, FL — A Judge has denied former Northeast Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s request to delay her sentencing hearing.
Earlier this week, Brown filed a motion asking for at least four more months to prepare because of damage she suffered from Hurricane Irma. The motion said Brown lost "personal property and effects" and her home was deemed by FEMA to be uninhabitable- and all of that was impacting her ability to prepare her defense.
FULL COVERAGE: The trial of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown
Prosecutors said Brown didn't clearly explain why the damage was affecting her defense, calling on the Judge to not give her any "special treatment" beyond what other defendants were receiving. They also noted that there has been six weeks since the storm- and there are still another three weeks to go before sentencing- and Brown is able to get any lost documents through online court records.
The order from US District Judge Timothy Corrigan essentially affirms what the government argued. The order says parties have known about the November 16th sentencing date since mid-August, and while the court is "sympathetic" to the damage she suffered, Brown didn't clearly explain why the delay was needed.
The Court will hear any arguments from Brown during the sentencing hearing about any documents she wasn’t able to recover or access, and consider at that time if more time is needed to produce those documents.
Brown was convicted in May on 18 of 22 fraud-related counts for soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to a sham charity "One Door For Education" and using the money on personal expenses and lavish events instead. She was also found guilty of underreporting income from "One Door" on her financial disclosures and tax returns, while overreporting charitable donations on her tax forms.
She has been out on bond for the duration of court proceedings.
A day before her sentencing- November 15th- Brown's co-defendants, her Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons and the President of "One Door" Carla Wiley, will have their sentencing hearings. Both pleaded guilty and testified against Brown during her trial.
Prosecutors are pushing for a harsh penalty against Brown- decades or more behind bars- while the defense is trying to keep her out of prison outright.