Pennsylvania state Rep. Michelle Brownlee has become the fourth elected official from Philadelphia to plead guilty in a cash-for-favors sting.
Brownlee pleaded guilty Monday in Dauphin County court to one count of violating Pennsylvania’s conflict of interest law. Hours after the plea, she resigned her position in the House.
Brownlee’s resignation letter was read Monday on the House floor, several blocks from the county courthouse where she earlier in the day pleaded guilty to violating Pennsylvania’s conflict-of-interest law. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports she was sentenced to 18 months of probation, but she won’t automatically lose her state pension.
The 59-year-old Brownlee is accused of accepting $2,000 from an undercover informant posing as a lobbyist who was seeking to influence Brownlee’s votes on behalf of nonexistent clients.
The charges are among those filed by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams after Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office abandoned the case it inherited from the prior administration. Kane has criticized the case as too flawed to win convictions in court.