Federal judge rejects request to delay Corrine Brown’s trial

By The News Service of Florida

A federal judge rejected a request Thursday by former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., to delay her April trial on allegations that she used a sham education charity to finance personal expenses and events.

Brown made the request a day after her former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of theft of government property.

He also agreed to testify against  her if he is subpoenaed.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan turned down Brown’s request for a 60-day delay, which had been opposed by prosecutors, according to a court document.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin April 24, with the trial starting two days later.

Brown lost a re-election bid to Democrat Al Lawson last year after she was indicted on 22 criminal counts and after her congressional district was substantially redrawn.

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