Key question in Corrine Brown trial: Was former confidant mastermind or lackey?


Key question in Corrine Brown trial: Was former confidant mastermind or lackey?

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s future could depend on how jurors come to see the man who for decades was her closest personal and professional confidant: Was Ronnie Simmons, Brown’s longtime chief of staff, a toady or a puppet master?

The key question that emerged during opening statements Wednesday in Brown’s federal fraud trial is whether the former congresswoman knew that Simmons and a girlfriend had started a sham charity in 2012 to help line their own pockets, pay for travel to vacation destinations and finance elaborate parties for Brown.

U.S. Attorney Tysen Duva told jurors …

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