Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown can’t stay free while she appeals felony convictions and she can’t delay reporting to prison, a pair of orders from separate federal courts said Monday.
Brown’s motion to stay free was rejected by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta the same day that the judge in Jacksonville who sentenced Brown to five years behind bars turned down a request to delay the start of her sentence by another month.
Brown remains scheduled to enter prison by noon Jan. 29, the same deadline set for the founder of One Door for Education, a bogus charity Brown was convicted of using to enrich herself.
“This court has already fully considered the issue,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan in Jacksonville wrote in his order. In short, he wrote later, “Ms. Brown is asking the wrong court. She should direct her request to the Eleventh Circuit.”
That court issued its own two-sentence order Monday that denied a motion she filed to remain free pending appeal. The second sentence told court clerks to treat any motion to reconsider as a non-emergency.
Brown was convicted in May of 18 felonies, most involving fraud or tax crimes.
The bulk of the charges involved misuse of money that Brown, a 12-term congresswoman, helped raise for One Door, which received more than $800,000 over several years but spent little on actual charitable projects.
One Door’s president, Carla Wiley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and testified at Brown’s trial. She’s scheduled to start serving a 21-month sentence Jan. 29. Brown’s former chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge involving One Door and an unrelated theft from the government, and began serving a four-year sentence this month.
After Brown’s sentencing, the Jacksonville Democrat hired an appeals attorney, William Mallory Kent, who has been working to flesh out a challenge to her conviction. In a filing Monday, Kent told Corrigan there were serious, complex issues to consider in the appeal and that after assessing them “it is not inconceivable that this court … well might rescind its previous order” setting Brown’s report date.
Kent wrote that more than one ministerial alliance, whom he didn’t name, planned to argue on Brown’s behalf before the appeals court. He wrote that the alliances would be represented by Charles Truncale, an attorney who accompanied Brown to a Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration in Clay County last week.
SOURCE: Jacksonville.com – Steve Patterson