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DC Council chair Kwame Brown resigns after bank fraud charge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the District of Columbia Council resigned Wednesday effective immediately after being charged with lying about his income on loan applications.

The bank fraud charge against Kwame R. Brown, one of the most influential power brokers in the D.C. government, is the latest allegation of criminal wrongdoing to roil local politics in the nation’s capital. It will mean further membership shakeup on the council.

Councilmember Phil Mendelson confirmed to The Associated Press that Brown had resigned.

“I have made some very serious mistakes in judgment for which I will take full responsibility,” Brown wrote in a resignation letter obtained by The Washington Post. “I have behaved in ways that I should not have. I was wrong, and I will face the consequences of that conduct.”

Brown becomes the second councilmember to face criminal charges since January. His departure comes as federal authorities continue investigating the 2010 campaign of Mayor Vincent Gray.

Brown was charged in a criminal information, a document that generally signals that a defendant has agreed to plead guilty. A plea hearing is set for Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

On Wednesday, he declined to answer questions or comment on the case following a closed-door meeting with fellow councilmembers.

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