WASHINGTON (AP/WUSA9) - Former District of Columbia Councilmember Michael Brown has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for taking more than $50,000 in bribes in an undercover FBI sting.
The 39-month sentence Thursday from a federal judge in Washington nearly matched prosecutors' request for a 43-month prison term.
Brown's lawyers had sought a more lenient sentence.
Brown admitted taking bribes from a man he thought was a businessman seeking preferential treatment on government contracts. The businessman turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.
Brown apologized and said he should have resisted the District's culture of corruption. Brown also admitted in 2007, after losing the Ward 4 seat, Brown met with Jeffrey Thompson in October 2008, and secretly channeled more than $100,000, through Harris, 'for a get-out-the-vote effort, officials said. Brown won the election for the Council seat.
U.S. Attorney Machen said in a statement, "Rather than wielding his political power to serve the citizens of the District of Columbia who voted for him, Michael Brown exerted his influence on behalf of purported contractors who were willing to line his pockets with hundred-dollar bills. Brown's decision to auction off the public trust was especially disappointing because of his enormous potential to stand as a bright light for the residents of this city. His term of incarceration will hopefully serve as an admonition to other public officials who are considering betraying their oath of office for fast cash."
He is the "third member of the Council of the District of Columbia to plead guilty within the past three years to federal charges involving crimes committed while they were in office," officials said in a press release.