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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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