Corrine Brown's former chief of staff ordered to home confinement

Ronnie Simmons given permanent peace order by Maryland judge

By Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's former chief of staff Ronnie Simmons has been ordered to home confinement in Maryland until he reports to federal prison next week. He was sentenced last month to four years in prison on mail and wire fraud charges resulting from a criminal conspiracy with Brown and Carla Wiley, the founder of a fake educational charity.

Simmons' confinement was ordered Tuesday by Jacksonville Judge Timothy Corrigan, who changed the terms of Simmons' bond pending his reporting to federal prison, which is scheduled for next Monday.

Simmons is now completely restricted from traveling, and will have either electronic or GPS monitoring. He also can't have a weapon.

The order comes after News4Jax obtained a photo of Simmons in the Anne Arundel County Courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland, on Friday moments after he was given a temporary peace order, which is similar to a restraining order, for threatening his ex-girlfriend inside the same courthouse.

Simmons didn't fight the order at a hearing Wednesday, and a judge made it permanent.

Simmons' ex-girlfriend, Geraldine Centeno, asked for the order, saying Simmons threatened her because she was outspoken about him while he, Brown and Wiley were being prosecuted for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fake charity, One Door for Education.

Simmons was previously arrested for assaulting the same woman years ago, before they broke up.

She told the News4Jax I-TEAM that she also notified the pretrial services office inside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville.

Centeno spoke out against Simmons to the I-TEAM when he and Brown were first indicted.

"His actions only continue to validate his true character," Centeno said. "I use his failed manipulation tactics as stepping stones to use my voice. I tell my story to help other survivors."

Simmons is scheduled to report back to the Annapolis courthouse on Wednesday for a formal hearing on the new peace order. 

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