Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Corrine Brown's Troublesome Cars

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Corrine Brown's Troublesome Cars

Article excerpt

And now, it's time for another chapter in the continuing saga

of The Cars of Corrine.

That's right, cars. Now there are two, three if you count the

one that tried to run over her.

Automotively speaking, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is having an

exceptionally bad car year, possibly her worst ever.

Fortunately, that's all over now. Well, maybe it's over. I'm

sure she hopes it's over. But a couple of things still need

explaining. The Lexus and Lincoln come to mind.

Yes, the Lincoln. The Jacksonville Democrat now has a blue 1988

Lincoln for her driving pleasure on the campaign trail. It was

her mother's. That's a story in itself, but I'm getting ahead of


It all started Aug. 12, 1997, when Brown's mother, Delia

Covington, walked out of the Hampton Villa Apartments in

Jacksonville and discovered that her 1988 Cadillac Seville had

been stolen.

That's right. Some lowlife car thief set this congressional car

calamity in motion.

Anyway, as everyone who has been following this saga knows, it

upset Shantrel Brown, Corrine's daughter and Delia's

granddaughter. Not long after grandma's wheels disappeared,

Shantrel mentioned the theft to Karim Pouye and Pascal Bodjona

in Miami.

Naturally, Pouye reacted the way any decent friend of just a

few months would. He offered to buy Shantrel's grandmother a new

car, a nice car, a $50,000 Lexus LS 400 with leather interior

and moon roof.

Who wouldn't do the same?

This is where the story gets confusing.

Maybe there was a foul-up in the paperwork. Somehow, grandma's

car got registered in Shantrel's name. And for some unexplained

reason, Shantrel took the car to Washington, where she is an EPA

lawyer, and used it to drive herself and her mother to work.

Really suspicious people, including a number of self-described

Republicans, have a problem with that.

They point out that Pouye and Bodjona are associates of

Foutanga Dit Babani Sissoko, the West African millionaire that

Corrine Brown had been trying to keep out of federal prison. And

they recall that St. Petersburg Times report that Sissoko

ordered his aides to buy a car for Brown as a token of his

friendship shortly before he went to prison for bribery.

Shantrel discounted that version in a prepared statement but

didn't hang around to fill in the gaps or take questions.

She said the car belonged to her and that her mother had no

part in her decision to accept it. …

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