Former Rep. Corrine Brown’s attorney is concerned about what a Jacksonville city councilman has to say now about her federal fraud trial.
It’s been less than two weeks since a jury found Brown guilty on 18 of 22 counts.
The prosecution never called Reggie Gaffney to take the stand, but his name and finances were mentioned almost daily in the courtroom.
Now that the trial is over, Gaffney’s statements are raising a red flag for Brown’s attorney.
Action News Jax went to Gaffney’s charity, his office at city hall and an event he was supposed to attend Monday after the councilman did not return our three calls and text message.
Gaffney did not want to answer our questions about Brown’s trial, but he told Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski that during his two meetings with federal prosecutors, the thousands of dollars from his charity, Community Rehabilitation Center, and business, CRC Transportation, that kept showing up in Brown’s personal account were “gifts.”
Gaffney said those “gifts” were to be “used for charitable purposes.”
If Gaffney’s story is true, it lines up with Brown’s testimony and does not line up with the prosecution’s claim that this was dirty money.
Brown’s attorney, James Smith, told Action News Jax in an exclusive interview that it’s a concern because the U.S. Attorney’s Office has an obligation to let Smith know if Gaffney supported Brown’s side of the story.
“If they became aware of a statement that might have supported our defense or might have reduced the possible punishment of the congresswoman, there is an obligation to turn it over,” Smith said.
Smith hinted that Gaffney was among several witnesses who were reluctant to talk to him.
“A lot of people were fearful: ‘If they could do this to the congresswoman, imagine what could happen to me.’ So there were a number of witnesses who were reluctant to talk to us, unfortunately,” Smith said.
Action News Jax sent a public records request to the U.S. Attorney’s Office asking for any documents related to interviews with Gaffney and any proof that those documents were sent to Smith.
A spokesperson turned down our request, saying only evidence admitted in court can be released to the public.
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