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Judge grants appeal for ex-Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown

Katrina Brown in federal court on Monday. (Sketch by Steve Bridges)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of two former council members sentenced last month for multiple counts of fraud involving a federally backed loan and a city grant for a barbecue sauce business was granted an appeal Monday by a federal judge.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge James Clint also found that Katrina Brown was financially unable to get her own attorney so one will be appointed to represent her during the appeal.

The charges resulted from government loans and grants to Katrina Brown’s family business. Fellow councilman Reggie Brown, who is not related, was convicted on similar charges. A hearing on Reggie Brown’s request for appeal is scheduled for Tuesday.

TIMELINE: Prosecution of Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown

The two were sentenced on Oct. 29 after nearly a year of delays due to COVID-19 closures of the court and other reasons. Katrina Brown was sentenced to 33 months in prison. Federal prosecutors wanted far tougher sentences than the judge handed down. For Katrina Brown, the government wanted 4½ years in prison, three years of supervised release and $535,335 forfeited. For Reggie Brown, prosecutors wanted four years in prison, three years of supervised release and $411,752 forfeited.

After Monday’s hearing, Katrina Brown told News4Jax she was optimistic about the appeal.

Curtis Fallgatter, who was Katrina Brown’s trial attorney, was allowed to withdraw from the case. He believes she should receive probation.

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