Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Brown acknowledges credit card debt of at least $50,000

Washington Post Editors

D.C. Council member Kwame Brown (D-At Large), who wants to take over the council's top job and control the District's purse strings, acknowledged Thursday that he has maxed out three credit cards for a total of almost $50,000.

Brown, a candidate to succeed Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), said he and his wife have worked out a repayment schedule with their creditors and are using a "disciplined budget."

"It's unfortunate," he said. "These are tough times for a lot of families and we're no exception."

Court documents obtained by News4's Tom Sherwood show that Brown owes "more than $50,000 in overdue payments, late fees and attorney costs."

Brown said his personal financial troubles would not affect his ability to lead the council, which last month closed a projected $550 million budget gap for fiscal 2011.

"Professionally, I have always worked hard to look at how we spend our money and to find ways to save money," Brown said.

Brown said the purchases that led to the repayment plan were made over several years on day-to-day items, such as violin lessons and after-school care for his two children. "It just trickles and trickles," he said. "It is what is and we're moving forward as a family."

Brown is running against former council member Vincent Orange, an attorney and accountant who has accused the council of overspending.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Ann E. Marimow  |  July 8, 2010; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Catania says stronger truancy sanctions needed against parents
Next: District buys troubled United Medical Center

Comments

Hmmm...on one hand I would say he knows first-hand how many families are struggling and so would be and empathetic and compassionate leader. On the other hand I'm not sure I want a person chairing the city council who can't manage his own household budget and live within his own means. Curious what others have to say/think about this.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | July 8, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Kwame but I ain't buying the "these are tough times for a lot of families and we're no exception" crap. First off, " a lot of families" are not running for public office to oversee the budget of DC, a place with a dubious record in being fiscally responsible. Secondly, why did the credit card companies have to sue? They normally will work out a payment plan w/o running up legal fees and such. Third, what was the nature of the largest charges? There is a lot more to this story, Mr. Brown. drip, drip, drip

Posted by: roscoedc | July 8, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate that Brown has acknowledged this problem and is working it out with his family. I think he continues to show great leadership and this doesn't diminish his work on the city council. In fact, a less noble public official might have used his position for personal financial gain (Adrian Fenty) under these circumstances. I think this news item actually shines a light on his personal integrity.

Posted by: DCbred | July 8, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

...I think this news item actually shines a POSITIVE light on his personal integrity.

Posted by: DCbred | July 8, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

FAIL

Posted by: WhatBubble | July 8, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Again, this story does not hold water. There are many families suffering for sure, but normally that's because there has been loss of employment or some major medical expense. What is kwame's excuse? He works everyday and, in fact, he got a raise at the start of Fenty's term. It's shameful that he would compare himself to folks who are in bad shape for circumstances beyond their control. I am not saying he is a crook like Fenty but I do believe this situation reflects poorly on his ability to be a financial steward of the District.

Posted by: roscoedc | July 9, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Are District residents paying attention to the fall of our Council. Here's Kwame with huge credit card debts. Many businesses won't hire you with debt like this. Should Kwame advance to the next level?

The chairman has an outstanding moving violation ticket from Maryland where he failed to go to court. Do you realize hundreds, maybe thousands of Black men have been arrested for warrants issued for similar violations and not appearing in court? Favoritism was shown here.

Add to his list of unethical behavior the violation of a city ordinance to obtain a building permit for a fence surrounding his home. Remember he also forgot to pay the contractor until an article was to appear in the media.

The alleged violation of the Hatch Act where the chairman knowingly used his letterhead to solicit funds for the DC Democratic Party from businesses that have contracts with the District government.

Now the investigation of what the chair did behind the scenes to sway the lottery contract to one of his friends.

There are also rumors flying around that the Ward 5 councilman has been delinquent on his child support payments in Maryland and that his bank account has been seized!

Please let us not forget the Ward 1 councilman. He has been quiet as a mouse with an investigation still underway about his alleged involvement in a bribery scheme against the taxi cab industry.

The Ward 8 councilman was censure for allegedly giving his girlfriend a small contract without results.

Marion Barry later called for an investigation into possible wrongdoings of another councilman, David Catania. Barry believes there was some possible wrongdoings involved with Catania steering a hospital contract that cost taxpayers millions.

We need to make another attempt at term limits before the council gives itself another raise. It is also time for serious change.

Posted by: vmohammed16 | July 9, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

"I appreciate that Brown has acknowledged this problem and is working it out with his family. I think he continues to show great leadership and this doesn't diminish his work on the city council. In fact, a less noble public official might have used his position for personal financial gain (Adrian Fenty) under these circumstances. I think this news item actually shines a light on his personal integrity."

I'm agree with you, DCbred and he probably need a credit card debt settlement now to pay off his credit card debt. Hope that he would read this - http://creditcarddebtsolver.com/4-best-credit-card-debt-settlement-strategies-handling-credit-card-debt-settlement-with-the-right-strategies/

Posted by: jadenjones28 | July 9, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Well, since we have a Treasury Secretary of the US who didn't pay taxes, then what's the big deal? Our threshold for this sort of thing has been lowered like a limbo bar to the point that it just doesn't matter.

It's really a shame. I wish we could get back to more honorable and experienced individuals getting into public service rather than what we have now in the city and country.

Posted by: LukasWP | July 9, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Just what DC needs--someone in charge of money who can't handle money...

Posted by: Susannah3 | July 9, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Struggling families...using credit cards to pay for violin lessons?
Only a politician could have come up with that one.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 9, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I salute Brown for acknowledging he is being affected by the economy like all of his. Unfortunately his high profile might preclude him from benefiting from debt settlement.


Jonathan Grossman
http://www.debtsettlementstory.com
Jonathan@debtsettlementstory.com

Posted by: DebtSettlementStory | July 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone trust someone with his reckless personal finances to manage public dollars?

Posted by: rsideout2 | July 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Does this equate to "it cost to be the boss?" No wonder he didn't squawk about the pay raise for teachers...at least that will add to his family income bracket. Do we not see him riding around in custom designed logo detailed Cadillac trucks. If this is not typical black-antics I don't know what is? If $50k is what he is being sued for then we can only assume his car notes and house notes are being paid too????

What is the swahali term for Kwame, is it Broke? Alright, VMohammed spill the juice...somebodee got child support over-there in Maryland that is delinquent. Really, this is the same councilmember who want every child in the city have the ability to play. What is his motto...no pay/no play.

As for Gray and his antics...why don't him and Eleanor just go on an establish a Politician for Hand-dancing social club...and be gone with it.

I am telling you if voting is a "right" then who is "left" that is worthy of mine?

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Kwame, I feel you. Most of us have some type of financial or boarder line financial situation. Many go through situations like this want to put on a false face and pretend that everything is okay, when it's not. He and his family owes $50,000 dollars and in reality and collectively this is not a lot of money.

Kwame has been a great full time council member in a part time position and has been the fastest growing member in a long time. His passion for people is not the norm these days and leaders like him is quickly becoming a relic of the past. In 2010 it is hard to find a public servant who is willing to serve with this type of character. By this being exposed, this could prove to be a valued asset of he understanding and feeling the needs of his constituents. It is a testament that under his leadership, he has supported the infusion of dollars into the neighborhoods that effect the outcomes of the everyday person. This is his strength and I believe this could bring a continued value and balance on the City Council. He is normal. He is everyday people. He will bring a balance to the Top Job on the Council.

Posted by: AnwarSaleem1 | July 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Kwame, I feel you. Most of us have some type of financial or boarder line financial situation. Many go through situations like this want to put on a false face and pretend that everything is okay, when it's not. He and his family owes $50,000 dollars and in reality and collectively this is not a lot of money. Kwame has been a great full time council member in a part time position and has been the fastest growing member in a long time. His passion for people is not the norm these days and leaders like him is quickly becoming a relic of the past. In 2010 it is hard to find a public servant who is willing to serve with this type of character. By this being exposed, this could be a valued asset of he understanding and feeling the needs of his constituents. It is a testament that under his leadership, he has supported the infusion of dollars into the neighborhoods that effect the outcomes of the everyday person. This is his strength and I believe this could bring a continued value and balance to the City Council. He is normal. He is everyday people. He will bring a balance to the Top Job on the Council.

Posted by: AnwarSaleem1 | July 9, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The article shows an honest side of Kwame. It takes a lot of virtue to own up to issues like this and respond to accusations. That says a lot. Unfortunately in the record downturn of our economy the majority of Americans are in debt and elected officials are not exempt from this harsh reality.Instead of bashing him and his family for running up his credit cards, we should be happy that he isn't taking kickbacks like so many of our officials do when they are in powerful positions. Let’s judge him on his record of service and not on his personal life.

Posted by: Oliver1286 | July 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the posters who said it is a concern that a candidate who is unable to manage his own household bills is likely not the person to manage the city's funds. In truth, we don't know that he hasn't taken any kickbacks as many of his colleagues have been accused. It kills me when people want to judge some on their personal lives but not others. We cannot pick and choose. We either hold everyone accountable in the same manner or we continue to have the blatant inequities we see every day in the political arena.

Posted by: southyrndiva | July 9, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

DC voters did not think it was a problem that Adrian Fenty was sued by a bank for refusing to pay a HELOC...With leadership like this no wonder the District is heading for insolvency again and another Control Board.

Posted by: dcpsychic | July 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The true shame is he will never get out from under the $50K debt with 29.9% interest. Welcome to the club Kwame!

Posted by: oknow1 | July 14, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company