JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown told First Coast News Tuesday she is disappointed a 12-member jury found her guilty of 18 counts of fraud and corruption. She added the jury was 'tainted.'
"I was disappointed,” Brown said of her reaction after hearing the verdict.
She was found guilty on charges of lying on financial disclosure forms, lying on her tax returns, mail fraud, and wire fraud last Thursday after several days of deliberation and a trial that lasted eight days.
After two days of deliberation, juror 13 was dismissed after another juror raised concerns about him saying the Holy Spirit told him she was not guilty on all charges. Even after the verdict, jurors keep contacting the court.
"I'm real concerned," she said. "Why would he be dismissed for believing in a higher being, God, but he was going to look at the evidence and what the judge told him to review, so why was he taken off?"
Judge Timothy Corrigan made it clear "sincerely held religious beliefs" are not grounds to dismiss a juror. Instead, he decided that juror 13's belief in an outside force "inhibit[ed] his ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror."
After hearing all the comments and rumors swirling about her case and her alleged part in the crimes, she was firm. "I can't change who I am," Brown said.
"I know that I have helped people," she continued. "You just have to be careful about the people you have around you and the ones that you keep close to you. Maybe I should have paid attention to the inner workings of my office."
She told Steven Dial of First Coast News just two days before the trial that she was not guilty and that her tombstone would not read 'felon.'
"And I'm still not guilty," she said.
Brown plans to appeal the verdict and fight to clear her name - and her attorney says he will be by her side.
"I just felt like God sent him to me," she said of James Smith, her attorney. "He was like David and goliath."
She said she was confident the tide will turn in her favor.
"Absolutely," she said. "I know the Lord is working on this and this is not over!"
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