JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida says she’s temporarily stepping down as ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as she defends herself against federal fraud charges.
Brown released a statement July 8 saying that she was stepping down in accordance with House rules.
Earlier, Brown and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, pleaded not guilty in Jacksonville federal court after they were charged in a 24-count indictment. The charges revolve around a charity called One Door for Education Foundation Inc. that was billed as a way to educate poor students but that prosecutors say was in reality an $800,000 personal slush fund for Brown and her associates.
Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 – one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. She is seeking re-election this year in a newly redrawn district.