The former chairman of the District of Columbia Council pleaded guilty Friday to lying about his income on bank loan applications, the latest blow to a city government rocked by scandal.
Kwame Brown also admitted to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation, capping a tumultuous week in which he forfeited his position as one of the city's most influential powerbrokers. His departure creates more turnover on the city's governing body and follows the resignation of another councilmember who admitted to stealing public funds earmarked for youth sports programs.
Their departures this year — coupled with a federal probe of Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign that has already produced guilty pleas from two campaign aides — have sent the district government into a tailspin. And the scandals likely aren't helping efforts to gain greater budget autonomy, much less win more voting power for the district's delegate to Congress or to secure the long-sought goal of statehood.