- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An attorney for a former campaign aide of D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown logged onto Facebook Wednesday and accused the incumbent lawmaker of engaging in the type of skulduggery to which his client has been linked — the theft of more than $100,000 from Mr. Brown’s 2012 campaign.

J. Wyndal Gordon, who dubs himself the “Warrior Lawyer,” posted the scathing missive on the social-media website shortly before noon to decry accusations that have been aimed cryptically at Hakim J. Sutton, the campaign treasurer who was fired in June after Mr. Brown announced he had discovered a series of unauthorized disbursements from his campaign.

Mr. Brown filed a pair of campaign finance reports late Monday that revealed the full magnitude of the “embezzlement,” as the lawmaker termed it in a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon. He noted that he had reported the theft immediately to the Metropolitan Police Department and said he hoped to recoup “every dollar” of the nearly $114,000 that went missing, leaving him with just about $18,000 in cash on hand for the Nov. 6 election for two at-large spots on the council.

“You mean to tell me that over two-thirds of your campaign treasury was depleted and you knew nothing about it? Incredible,” Mr. Gordon said in his lengthy posting.

Mr. Gordon told The Washington Times on Tuesday that Mr. Sutton appeared to be set up as a fall guy for financial irregularities in the campaign.

Brown knows for a fact that no money has been stolen and has been less than forthright with the public when it comes to concerns about his campaign finance reports,” he said in his online posting.

For his part, Mr. Brown dismissed the online rant as a misguided attempt to defame him.

“They have bigger things to deal with, like the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of Campaign Finance and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” he said.

Mr. Brown on Tuesday said he is a victim of a crime and should be treated as such. He put someone in place to mind his campaign accounts, and his trust was violated, he told reporters.

He also said the issues should not reflect poorly on his campaign because he is not the first candidate to be the victim of theft from a campaign treasury.

Mr. Sutton’s attorney, in his online posting, took his accusations to a level beyond the missing funds, claiming Mr. Brown did not like to pay his campaign workers and bounced checks.

Again, Mr. Brown dismissed the remarks as defamatory.

“I have no comment on any of that,” he said.

Mr. Brown is seeking to defend his seat against a pair of ambitions challengers, independent David Grosso and Republican Mary Brooks Beatty. Mr. Grosso and Ms. Beatty both issued statements Tuesday decrying the missing funds from Mr. Brown’s campaign as an example of the incumbent’s financial mismanagement.

Mr. Gordon, too, attacked Mr. Brown’s personal finances in his online posting, noting a report in The Washington Times in June that the Internal Revenue Service had filed another tax lien against him.

On Monday, Mr. Brown survived a pair of challenges to his ballot-access petitions with just 166 signatures more than the 3,000-signature threshold needed to appear before voters Nov. 6. He took a moment at his press briefing to decry the challenges by Mr. Grosso and D.C. government watchdog Dorothy Brizill as “frivolous” and “wild conspiracy theories” that ignore real issues in the city.

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