Another Sting Target Pleads Guilty
Michelle Brownlee has become the latest Philadelphia Democrat to plead guilty to corruption charges arising from the investigation abandoned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and revived by Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams.
Brownlee pleaded to accepting $2,000, wrapped in a napkin, outside the Cafe Fresco Restaurant in downtown Harrisburg from Tyron Ali, a confidential informant who was posing as a lobbyist for the Attorney General’s office.
Prosecutors said the June 1, 2011 payment came after a series of nine meetings, all taped, in which Brownlee eventually established her willingness to take official action on behalf of Ali’s legislative, business and other interests.
In that relationship, Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said, Ali agreed to be a source of cash to Brownlee and she agreed to “be there for him, in return, for anything that he needed.”
Brownlee, a state representative, resigned her seat immediately, but will be allowed to keep her pension. She was sentenced to 18 months on probation.
Others convicted in the investigation were Reps. Ronald Waters and Harold James, as well as former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes.