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Brown, first African-American elected to statewide office, dies

IL Staff
February 15, 2013
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Dwayne M. Brown, 50, the first African-American and youngest person elected to statewide office, died Feb. 12. He served as clerk of the Indiana appellate courts before being removed from office in 1994 amid allegations of ghost employment and sexual harassment.

Brown was elected in 1990 but was removed from office after 3 ½ years by the Indiana Supreme Court following a grand jury indictment. He was convicted in Marion Superior Court in November 1995 of seven counts of ghost employment. Several women claimed he made unwanted sexual advances toward them during office hours, although those accusations weren’t raised at trial.

Former staffers in the clerk's office said Brown ordered them to perform political campaign work during office hours. Brown, who staged unsuccessful bids for state attorney general and Congress while acting as clerk, brought staffers on speaking engagements and asked at least one employee to draw a campaign poster, according to testimony.

Brown denied the charges. He received a fine, community service and probation. He lost an appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals, and he was suspended from practice for three years.

He later started his own law practice.

Brown graduated from Columbia Law School in 1987 after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1984. He worked as a staff attorney for the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., and then as counsel to the Indiana secretary of state before being elected as clerk.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Stuart Mortuary Chapel, with a celebration of life at 1 p.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 3500 Graceland Ave., Indianapolis.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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