Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's campaign manager charged with wire fraud

John McDaniel, former campaign manager for City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's political action committee, was charged Wednesday morning with one count of wire fraud after the U.S. Attorney's Office accused him of stealing about $100,000 from the PAC.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's campaign manager charged with wire fraud

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown in her City Hall office Feb. 5, 2013. (Clem Muray / Staff Photographer)
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown in her City Hall office Feb. 5, 2013. (Clem Muray / Staff Photographer)

John McDaniel, former campaign manager for City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown's political action committee, was charged Wednesday morning with one count of wire fraud after the U.S. Attorney's Office accused him of stealing about $100,000 from the PAC.

McDaniel was charged in an information document, which means he waived his right to have his case presented to a federal grand jury.  That typically means a defendant is negotiating a deal with prosecutors.

Mayor Nutter fired McDaniel last week from his $87,125 per year job managing a volunteer program at the Philadelphia International Airport after the city's Board of Ethics released a settlement with the political action committee.  Brown, cited for campaign finance violations that included a personal loan disguised as an election expense, agreed to pay a $48,834 fine.

McDaniel also worked as a paid consultant on Nutter's 2011 campaign for a second term.

More coverage
 
PDF: Federal charges against John McDaniel

Brown, who had been mentioned as a potential candidate for mayor in 2015, said she cooperated fully with the Board of Ethics and took responsibility, while blaming McDaniel for the many of the problems with her political action committee during her 2011 run for a fourth term.

The information released Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office said McDaniel used a "scheme to defraud" the political action committee, which included withdrawing money from automated teller machines, writing checks to himself, writing checks to the Progressive Agenda PAC, another political action committee he worked for, and filing false and incomplete campaign finance reports by omitting some withdraws and creating fake expenses.

Brown is identified in the information only as "Person 1."

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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