Political Notebook

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Lawmaker likes expungement

Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, might be the only lawmaker who gets to take advantage of an expansive expungement bill passed Monday.

That's why he had a very specific question when the legislation came up for final vote.

Does the bill apply to his 2003 misdemeanor convictions for "helping a colleague?" The answer was yes.

Back then Brown intervened in a 2002 traffic stop of Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, and both men eventually were arrested.

Smith was found not guilty of his charges but Brown was found guilty of obstructing traffic and disregarding a police officer.

He received a suspended sentence, a fine and community service.

"I have a conviction for being a Good Samaritan," Brown said Monday on the House floor, noting this law could help him get his life back together after helping a colleague.

Many of the lawmakers on the floor weren't around for the incident, but most seemed familiar with the story and laughed accordingly.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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