JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville city council member wrapped up in a case involving millions of dollars in misused funds says he can’t afford to pay for his own legal defense.
Reginald Brown and Katrina Brown face dozens of charges involving mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Reginald Brown declared indigence in Federal Court, Thursday. He will get a court-appointed lawyer on Monday, the judge said.
Gov. Rick Scott suspended both June 1, the day after they were indicted.
They are still on the council, but the suspension freezes their city salary, which breaks down to about $4,000 a month.
Since the suspension, Reginald Brown’s only income is a $500 monthly check from the Army reserves, he said in court.
He told the judge he only has $2,000 in savings, his only assets are his home and three vehicles.
Katrina Brown also hasn’t been able to secure an attorney in the two weeks since the indictment, citing family health problems.
The indictment alleges she took more than $3 million in loans and grants, promising to create 56 jobs in Northwest Jacksonville
Prosecutors say those jobs never materialized, and that the money was then funneled to RB packaging owned by Reginald Brown, who prosecutors say kept some for himself and send the rest back to accounts controlled by Katrina Brown.
Reginald Brown did not answer questions about the case but said he does not plan to resign from the city council.
“No, sir,” he told reporters before leaving the courthouse. “I'm not guilty."
The judge gave Katrina Brown one more week to lock in an attorney. She and Reginald Brown are scheduled to appear back in court Thursday, June 21 at 2 p.m.