JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - She could lose her freedom, but could she forfeit a whole lot more?
One day after former Congresswoman Corrine Brown was convicted on 18 of 22 corruption charges that could net her prison time, First Coast News is digging in to verify whether she stands to also lose the pension she accrued during her years in Congress. It's a substantial question because she would be due to receive $152,250 annually.
First Coast News spoke with Jacksonville criminal defense attorney Randy Reep to get answers.
CLAIM No. 1: Corrine Brown could lose her government pension as a result of her conviction.
Reep pointed to a bill signed into law by then-President George W. Bush, titled The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, saying, "Given the eighteen counts, her pension will be exposed and likely revoked, if you will, as a result of the convictions. Keep in mind, that is all subject to the same appellate process as her criminal convictions would be. As go the criminal cases, likely will go her pension."
VERIFIED: If her convictions are upheld, Corrine Brown can forfeit her government pension.
CLAIM No. 2: Corrine Brown would lose the entire pension, even if only some convictions are upheld.
Reep spoke convincingly about this matter, saying "It's probably all or nothing, and I would say if any of the convictions hold, it's going to be all."
VERIFIED: Corrine Brown will likely lose her government pension if any convictions withstand appeal or a new trial.
However, it's worthy of note that Brown is entitled to her pension as long as her case is alive. Also, the pension she accrued during her ten years in the Florida Legislature will not be affected by her convictions.