Lawsuit won’t push Katrina Brown off Jacksonville City Council

Katrina Brown

Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown is being sued personally by the city of Jacksonville, the fallout from an economic development deal gone bust.

Earlier this month, the city filed suit against Brown, a first-term Democratic member of the Finance Committee, for breach of guaranty, relative to a defaulted loan of $380,000 to the Browns’ family business, CoWealth LLC. [COJ v Katrina Brown].

Brown talked to Jacksonville media on Tuesday, and she insisted that she is not stepping down and will continue her bid for re-election.

“I came here today and wanted to give an explanation, but … my legal team advised me, because it’s in litigation, not to give any details on it,” Brown said regarding the suit.

Brown offered a “no comment” when asked if the suit was politically motivated, 10 months before city elections.

“I’m going to continue to lead,” Brown said.

This suit is ill-timed for Councilwoman Brown, who has drawn no fewer than seven challengers for her District 8 seat.

Six of them were from her own Democratic Party. One of the challengers died soon after filing, leaving five Democrats and one NPA candidate in the mix.

Despite bad news cycles including the business woes described above, and an altercation with local police when a council colleague was pulled over, Brown nonetheless is running for re-election.

In her first month of actual fundraising, Brown raked in $7,000, from $500 and $1,000 checks from outside the district.

Advocates for Business Growth ponied up, as did developers (the Sonoc Company, Leone Development and Nocatee Development, along with Sleiman Holdings), and attorneys interested in development (Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow).

Brown is still in a distant third place in terms of total money raised. The leader, Tameka Gaines Holly, brought in $3,458 in April (much of the money from within the district), leaving her with roughly $19,000 on hand.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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