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Democrat, Florida (1993-present)
The Honorable Corrine Brown's congressional career started off badly. Just after becoming a member of Congress in 1983, the Federal Election Commission began investigating her campaign for office. Her former campaign treasurer claimed that Brown had neglected to take action against an aide who had committed forgery, and Brown admitted to the FEC that her federal campaign reports contained some errors.
Then in 1996, an investigation charged that Brown had improperly received and spent a $10,000 check from National Baptist Convention leader Henry J. Lyons for illegal activities. She admitted receiving the check, but denied she had used the money illegally.
In 1998, the Congressional Accountability Project filed an ethics complaint against Brown, charging that she had violated House Rule 10, the House gift rule. One of the complaints was that a West African businessman, Foutanga Bit Babani Sissoko, had purchased a $50,000 Lexus LS400 for Brown's daughter after Brown had lobbied Attorney General Janet Reno to release Sissoko from prison. Brown denied any wrong doing.
The House Ethics committee ruled in 2000 that there was insufficient evidence that Brown had violated any rules. But it said that she had demonstrated "poor judgment" and gave "the appearance of impropriety" in her dealings with the African millionaire. The subcommittee of the Ethics Committee reported: "Brown's actions and associations in connection with Sissoko demonstrated, at the least, poor judgment and created substantial concerns regarding both the appearance of impropriety and the reputation of the House of Representatives." [Click here for the Ethics Committee letter].
Sources: "Corrine Brown," Wikipedia; Bill Adair, "Ethics Panel Calls Off Rep. Brown Inquiry," St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 22, 2000, A1.