Ronnie Simmons, former Rep. Corrine Brown’s former chief of staff entered a guilty plea Wednesday in an agreement that could see him testify against his former boss.
Ronnie Simmons, who worked for Brown, D-Fla., for years, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud as well as theft of government funds, according to SaintPetersBlog.
Simmons had pled not guilty to all of the charges he faced. Despite his agreement with prosecutors, he still faces 30 years in prison as well as $500,000 in fines and $1.287 million in restitution.
Brown is set to appear in court today in preparation for an April trial. She faces 357 years in prison and $4.8 million in fines if she is found guilty.
U.S. Magistrate James Klindt told Simmons that if Simmons plead guilty there would be no trial of any kind, the Florida Times-Union reported. He also agreed to testify in his former boss’ trial if subpoenaed.
“This is a long … gut-wrenching decision,” Simmons’ attorney Anthony Suarez said according to CBS47. “He knows Corrine Brown and all of their common friends. He basically, at this point, has to have new friends and has to have a new life.”