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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.