Hearing on Corrine Brown’s status of counsel delayed

FILE - Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A hearing in federal court on former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s status of counsel has been delayed from Friday to Nov. 10 at 10:30 a.m.

Brown’s current attorney had previously filed a motion asking the government to return her roughly $42,000 that was taken as forfeiture. Brown’s attorney asked to delay the hearing originally scheduled for Friday until after this motion is settled, saying that unless she gets the money back, she won’t be able to retain her own counsel.

Brown’s attorney also said that Brown’s mother passed away Oct. 5, and that she’s been occupied with funeral arrangements and mourning, so she hasn’t been able to think about retaining counsel or doing anything to raise money to retain counsel.

The judge responded on Wednesday, delaying the hearing to Nov. 10. The judge intends to have the issue of representation resolved at the hearing, and if Brown hasn’t retained counsel by then, the judge will consider appointing an attorney.

Even though the judge has already ruled on the request, the government responded Wednesday to the original request for the delay.

The government says it understands Brown is dealing with difficult personal circumstances but argues that at the Oct. 4 hearing, it was made clear that progress toward obtaining counsel was expected by the Oct. 29 hearing.

The government says her motion to delay the hearing suggests she’s made no progress.

As far as the question of money, prosecutors point out that she receives a full pension from the federal government and hasn’t otherwise explained her financial situation to the court.

They say the court was entitled to know what Brown has done toward obtaining an attorney and what her financial resources were, saying that if Brown wasn’t making efforts to obtain a lawyer, the case wouldn’t be able to move forward.

Brown’s 2017 conviction on fraud and tax charges was overturned in May. Federal prosecutors said during a hearing earlier this month that they will put Brown on trial again on the same 18 felony counts involving an alleged charity scheme.