John D. McDaniel, former campaign manager to City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal wire fraud charge in the theft of more than $100,000 from Brown's campaign fund and another political action committee heavily funded by the Laborers Union.
The plea deal with the U.S. Attorney was described as a "noncooperation agreement," which noted that McDaniel helped with his own case. It does not require him to cooperate with investigators in other cases, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Gray said any help that McDaniel might give would be reported to U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin before sentencing.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 14. Gray estimated that sentencing guidelines called for a prison sentence in the range of 15 to 21 months. McDaniel has agreed to pay restitution and could face an additional fine of up to $250,000.
McDaniel, 39, was accused of plundering the money from the committees by ATM withdrawals and checks written to himself. He sent sent some of Brown campaign's money to another PAC he controlled, the Progressive Agenda PAC, and then converted the money to personal use. The total money stolen was $103,650.