Corrine Brown's reputation pushes past guilty verdict, supporters say

Our team coverage continues on the case against former Congresswoman Corrine Brown. Steven Dial recaps the verdict and Julia Jenae gets community reaction

The guilty verdict against a former politician with a reputation for delivering on her promises is hitting a community hard.

Thursday afternoon, a 12-member jury found Corrine Brown guilty on 18 counts of fraud including conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, lying on financial disclosure forms, impeding IRS tax laws, and filing false tax returns.

Corrine Brown stoic leaving court after being found guilty of fraud, corruption charges

In Bono's Barbeque on Norwood Avenue where in January 2016 federal agents served Brown with an initial subpoena for documents, restaurant regulars say the verdict comes as a blow. 

Employees in the restaurant with roots dating back farther than Brown's three decade political career, say all eyes were on the television at 2 pm waiting to hear the jury's decision. 

One man said simply, 'it's a sad day.'

"[This verdict] was just like when Dr. King got killed, the moment and time when he got indictment, it really hurt," said Jelly Jackson.  "When you look at life, a lot of this will come and go."

Brown was well known in Jacksonville for being outspoken on behalf of her city, minorities, and the poor. Characterized as a defender for those in her district, she had a reputation for doing what she said she would.

Some restaurant patrons remembered her efforts to build the new local courthouse. 

Others remembered her being visible at food and toy drives. 

Another said Brown stood up for the homeless when others were campaigning to remove transients from downtown.

Most chose not to comment on whether Brown committed the crimes she's been convicted of. 

Jackson said he hopes people will remember the good and believes Brown's community will continue to surround her. 

Brown's sentence will come from the presiding judge at a hearing not expected to happen for another 90 days. 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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