Updated 10/15/12 at 9:42 a.m.
Just five weeks away from sentencing on a bank fraud charge, former D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown earned a Washington federal judge's ire today for violating the terms of his release by failing to call in to the Pretrial Services Agency three times.
Brown apologized at this morning's hearing, saying he knew there was no excuse for his actions. But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said that Brown's conduct didn't seem to reflect such sentiments. "Your apology is a little late in the game," Leon said.
Leon told Brown that given his upcoming sentencing hearing, "this is not the way to position yourself most favorably." He ordered Brown to report in-person to the Pretrial Services Agency each week, as opposed to by phone, and gave Brown a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Brown, who resigned from the council in June, pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud in federal court on June 8. He also pleaded guilty that same day in District of Columbia Superior Court to a campaign finance law violation.
As part of the terms of his release pending sentencing, Brown was required to call in to the Pretrial Services Agency once a week. According to agency officer Patty Sucato, who gave a report during today's hearing, Brown failed to call in the weeks of June 11, July 16 and September 10. Sucato said Brown was given a warning after each infraction.
Brown told Leon that the first time he was out of town; the second time he had called to ask if he could go out of town but didn't realize he needed to call in separately to officially report in; and the third time he was being processed by police at Superior Court and thought that would suffice.
Brown pledged to make his appointments every week going forward. "There is no excuse for not doing it properly," he told Leon. Brown was accompanied by his lawyer, Frederick Cooke Jr. of Washington's Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke. Afterward, both men declined to comment on the proceeding.
Leon blasted Brown for his failure to call in, saying that Brown's behavior represented "three strikes," and that Brown didn't want to find out what would happen if he failed to comply again. "Don't tempt fate," Leon told him.
Brown was charged with falsifying documents to overstate his income as part of loan applications. As part of his plea agreement, the U.S. attorney's office has agreed to ask for a sentence between zero to six months, but the maximum penalty is 30 years in jail, a $1 million fine or both. In Superior Court, Brown pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws by authorizing his campaign staff to open a "side account" and make cash withdrawals in excess of $50.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Johnson attended this morning's hearing, but did not make any statements.
Brown is scheduled for sentencing in both courts on November 13.
A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the office Kwame Brown failed to call.