The Latest: Rep. Corrine Brown steps down from committee

AP News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2016 5:45 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on indictment of Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida says she's temporarily stepping down as ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs as she defends herself against federal fraud charges.

Brown released a statement Friday afternoon saying that she was stepping down in accordance with House rules.

Earlier Friday, Brown and her chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, pleaded not guilty in Jacksonville federal court after they were charged in a 24-count indictment. The charges revolve around a charity called One Door for Education Foundation Inc. that was billed as a way to educate poor students but that prosecutors say was in reality an $800,000 personal slush fund for Brown and her associates.

Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 — one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. She is seeking re-election this year in a newly redrawn district.

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3:15 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of fraud and other offenses following an investigation into a phony charity.

Brown and Elias "Ronnie" Simmons entered the pleas Friday in Jacksonville federal court after they were charged in a 24-count indictment. The charges revolve around a charity called One Door for Education Foundation Inc. that was billed as a way to educate poor students but that prosecutors say was in reality an $800,000 personal slush fund for Brown and her associates.

Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 — one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction. She is seeking re-election this year in a newly redrawn district.

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11:15 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida has been indicted after a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity with ties to the congresswoman.

Brown was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on multiple fraud, theft of government funds, conspiracy and other charges.

The indictment comes after an investigation into the charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc. Federal prosecutors say the charity was supposed to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.

One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it was determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation's account over four years. Over that time, federal prosecutors say the foundation gave one scholarship for $1,000.