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Residents React To Jack Johnson Sentencing

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Former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson apologizes after he pleaded guilty in May. He was sentenced to 87 months on Tuesday.
Armando Trull
Former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson apologizes after he pleaded guilty in May. He was sentenced to 87 months on Tuesday.

Opinions are mixed about Tuesday's sentencing of former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson. A judge sentenced him to a full 7 years in prison on federal corruption charges for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from developers.

Soon after the sentence was handed down, Johnson and his team of attorneys climbed into a black SUV and left the U.S. district courthouse without comment. County resident Jerome McNeil says he is disappointed Johnson didn't get the maximum sentence of 14 years.

"Was it just?" asked McNeil. "Perhaps. I think the county save a lot of money by him taking a deal, because it saved the taxpayers money without have to pay for his trial. It's all about money."

Reverend Ronald Austin, senior pastor of the spirit of peace Baptist church in Capitol Heights has a different take: "I wish there had been mercy. With all the work that's he's done in this county, with all the good that he's done, that should count for something."

Johnson was also given three years probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

The FBI wiretapped Johnson and his wife, Leslie, discussing how to hide money he took from those seeking to do business with the county that totaled anywhere from $400,000 to $1 million. Leslie Johnson pleaded guilty in June to witness and evidence tampering, and faces a sentencing hearing of her own on Friday, Dec. 9. She faces 12 to 18 months in prison.

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