PHILADELPHIA (June 8, 2015) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced that Pennsylvania State Representative Michelle Brownlee has pled guilty to Conflict of Interest for accepting money in exchange for promised political actions. Brownlee was immediately sentenced to 18 months of probation and forced to resign from her position.
“What Pennsylvania State Representative Michelle Brownlee did was not just wrong for the people she was elected to serve and detrimental to democracy in our Commonwealth, but it darkens the stain of corruption on the City of Philadelphia,” said District Attorney Williams. “I applaud the dedication of the men and women of the Investigating Grand Jury and all of the members of my staff who worked on this case.”
The same special investigation has yielded guilty pleas from former Pennsylvania State Representative Harold James and current Pennsylvania State Representative Ronald Waters on similar charges. Thomasine Tynes, the former President Judge of the Philadelphia Traffic Court, has already pled guilty to Bribery, Conflict of Interest and Conspiracy charges. Two of the three pretrial motions filed by Representative Louise Williams Bishop were denied last week. The third motion is being held under advisement. Vanessa Brown is scheduled for a status hearing on July 13.
Recorded evidence made by a confidential informant (CI) showed that Brownlee accepted $2,000 for promising to provide the CI with direct influence into proposed legislation.
This morning’s hearing, which took place in Dauphin County, was presided over by the Hon. Scott Evans of the Court of Common Pleas. Assistant District Attorneys Brad Bender and Mark Gilson prosecuted the elected officials who have been charged as a result of the special investigation and the grand jury’s recommendation of charges.