Politics

Corrine Brown Reports to Florida Prison

Clergyman who accompanied her describes former Florida congresswoman as ‘very emotional, but yet graceful’

Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick Sr. escorts former Rep. Corrine Brown outside the courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla., after she was found guilty in May on fraud charges. Brown attended McKissick’s church on Sunday, a day before she was to surrender to federal authorities to begin her five-year sentence. (Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP file photo)

Disgraced former Florida Rep. Corrine Brown began her five-year prison sentence at noon on Monday.

Brown surrendered at the Federal Correctional Institution Coleman’s minimum security prison in Sumterville, Florida, WOKV reported.

She arrived in a Mercedes limousine bus, as reported by Fox30 reporter Jenna Bourne.

Brown was accompanied by Bishop Kelvin Cobaris, according to the Florida Times-Union. Cobaris said Brown and her family members asked him to pray for her. 

“She had a humble demeanor. Very emotional, but yet graceful. And as soon as I got on the bus, she greeted me with a smile and a hug and said, ‘Pray,’” Cobaris told WOKV.

The facility houses 400 inmates, who are required to work a job once they are medically cleared.

Brown was found guilty last year of fraud for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal use from a bogus charity called One Door for Education. 

The Florida Democrat recently lost her bid to stay out of prison while she is appealing her case.

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Brown’s appeal is based on the fact that a juror was dismissed when he said the Holy Spirit told him Brown was not guilty at the beginning of the trial despite instructions to withhold judgment until evidence is heard.

Brown has maintained her innocence and said she simply mismanaged her finances.

Ronnie Simmons, Brown’s former chief of staff who pleaded guilty and testified against her, already reported to prison and is serving his sentence in Maryland.

Carla Wiley, Simmons’ ex-girlfriend who served as president of the bogus charity and also testified against Brown, is set to report to prison on Monday.

Brown spent Sunday at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church in Jacksonville, where the congregation prayed for her, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr., pastor emeritus at the church, is a longtime friend and supporter of Brown who was often seen escorting her to and from court.

Correction, Jan. 29, 2018, 1:45 p.m. | An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Kelvin Cobaris.

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