Corrine Brown smiles in front of a building for which she helped to find federal funding and was then named in her honor. (Courtesy City of Gainesville)
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Gainesville Leaders Holding Off On Removing Corrine Brown’s Name From RTS Facility

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A Gainesville city committee will decide how to handle the renaming of the Corrine Brown Transit Facility.

Eight months after a jury convicted her and one month after a judge sentenced her on fraud charges, Gainesville city commissioners on Thursday decided against voting quite yet to remove former congresswoman Corrine Brown’s name from the Regional Transit System’s office near South Main Street.

“What we have here is an awkward situation,” commissioner Harvey Budd said, “with a convicted felon with her name on the building.”

Budd initiated the discussion and proposed a compromise: remove her name from outside the building and place inside a plaque describing her role in securing its funding.

Commissioner Harvey Ward preferred to hold off on making a decision until her appeal — still pending in a federal court — is complete. Judge Timothy Corrigan sentenced her in December to five years in prison.

“We wouldn’t have the building if not for her work,” Ward said. He asked Budd if he would wait until the appeal process is exhausted, and Budd agreed.

Instead of removing her name immediately, the commission will form a committee to decide what the plaque would include, where it will be installed, and when Brown’s name will come off the building.

Mayor Lauren Poe suggested naming the building after Rev. T.A. Wright, who died in 2014.

Evelyn Foxx, who said she’s a friend of Brown, said she would also prefer to wait until the appeal is complete.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ll do. You’re not going to please everybody,” Foxx, the local NAACP chapter president, said.

Foxx and commissioner Charles Goston both said they would support renaming it after Rev. Wright.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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