By Dan Evans
Reporter – The Florida/Georgia Star
James Smith, Ms. Brown Attorney, in cross examination pointed out a chart was done on Rep. Brown but not on Ronnie Simmons or Carly Wiley, tracking withdraws and deposits. The prosecution trying to show wrong doing of Rep Brown presented the activities of Rep Brown doing business as a Congresswoman on a day to day basic do not show the activities of Ronnie Simmons on a day to day basic. Although Mr. Simmons had other sources of income the prosecution refused to present it as evidence.
Evidence presented showed Ronnie Simmons had access to every account Rep Brown had, including her Congressional Federal Credit Union account. Evidence presented from Mr. Simmons indicated he, being second in command handled the process. When Ms. Brown said make it happen he made it happen. Money came in and money went out (the cost of doing business).
The prosecution showed money being moved, the cost of doing business, nothing wrong just taking care of business. Making sure all bases are covered and everybody is paid.
Ronnie Simmons testified that his plea agreement is in hopes the Judge is merciful and will make recommendations that may come from the State office. Attorneys will present arguments for the court to consider as the persecution close their case.
Day 2 established from direct questioning and cross examination that Congresswoman Brown during networking with donors included conversations about One Door and Ronnie Simmons would follow up with calls, letters and emails.
Day 3, prosecutors began with Ingrid Burch, a member of LINKS, identifying a letter sent by email asking for receipts to be sent to Carolyn Chatman explaining a request for 5,000 dollars from The Lazzara Family Foundation. Everyone taking the stand seemed to understand the organization of running a business, an organization, an office and even your home relating to the flow of money in and out. John Butler, involved with KIPP charter school, after meeting with Rep Brown began email chains with Ronnie Simmons and Carla Wiley. Steve Pacjic after casual hello at a lunch meeting began to receive correspondence from Ronnie Simmons.
The investigation contained events and activities that donors, businesses, and individuals contributed to: Democratic National Convention, Congresswoman Brown Receptions, Bus trip to swearing in of President Obama, Golf Tournament, Beyoncé Concert, Jacksonville Jaguars/Redskins football game and a trip to China for students.
The government produced witness after witness and introduced letters and email chains and asked for recognition of signatures. Carla Wiley took the stand and testified she set up One Door in honor of her mother. She partnered with Ronnie Simmons to use One Door as the charity to host an event for Rep Brown at the Congressional Black Caucus. Ms. Wiley admitted engaging in fraud with Ronnie Simmons to deceive Rep Brown. Did you lie to get money for One Door? Yes. Did you use One Door money for your own benefit? Yes. Did you commit fraud? Yes. In a question during FBI investigation were you told they were after Rep. Brown and you were just a part of the investigation? Yes. Von Alexander, CEO Alexander Agency, testified about role of her public relations firm and relationships with clients. Ms. Alexander’s firm was used to pay for events and reimbursements of out of pocket expenditures. Signatures of checks given to her from One Door exposed the signing of checks using other people’s names by Ronnie Simmons. Her agency became a part of the cash flow of doing business. Sioitis Jackson, a self-proclaimed political operative explained his role, on the stand, was to receive and carry out the orders of Ronnie Simmons.