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City Council Not Ready To Oust Tarnished Councilwoman From Leadership Post

(Philadelphia city councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, in 2011.  File photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia city councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, in 2011. File photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sources tell KYW Newsradio that Philadelphia city councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown will continue, at least for now, to hold her leadership position on Council despite massive fines levied against her this week for campaign finance violations (see related story).

Reynolds Brown is the third highest ranking councilmember — the Democratic majority “whip.”

Sources on Council say that there is currently no move afoot to remove her from that post because of the campaign finance and ethics violations.

But one Council source says she would likely be removed if the matter escalates to possible criminality.  In other words, she stays for now, but that could change.

“It’s way too premature to discuss anything related to Councilwoman Brown’s tenure as leadership,” said Council president Darrell Clarke today.

When asked for his opinion on her retaining the post, Clarke was succinct:  “At this point I don’t have a personal opinion about that.”

Clarke said he also has no opinion about whether Council’s long-dormant Ethics Committee should be charged with reviewing the violations of the councilwoman.   That committee, according to Council’s chief clerk, has not taken any action on any matter in more than 30 years.

Reynolds Brown, for her part, says she retains the support of her colleagues.

“I kept leadership aware of developments along the way,” she told KYW Newsradio today.   “I kept a number of other colleagues (aware) along the way.  And all of what was in my statement that I gave remains, the details of which are in the report (of the Ethics Board).  And my colleagues are now aware of the details within the report.”

The Ethics Board ordered Reynolds Brown to pay nearly $50,000 in fines and repayments for numerous campaign finance violations, and for ethical violations involving the use of campaign money for personal needs.