Former PG County Exec Jack Johnson Sentenced To 7 Years | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Former PG County Exec Jack Johnson Sentenced To 7 Years

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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.

Update, 12:15 p.m.: Calling former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson's crimes a "deliberate march down a long road to kleptocracy," U.S. District judge Peter Messitte sentenced him to 87 months in federal prison, 3 years supervised probation and a $100,000 fine Tuesday.

Lawyers for Jack Johnson asked for leniency in his sentencing. Defense attorneys say that Johnson, who entered court on Tuesday with the aid of a cane, suffers from Parkinson's Disease, and at age 62, extended jail time would essentially amount to a life sentence. Johnson himself said in halting voice that he was haunted by his actions, apologized and pleaded for mercy.

Prosecutors disputed the claim, noting that Johnson's condition has not been previously reported. They cited photos from the U.S. Attorney's office, which show Johnson in apparent good health, lifting a full bag of clubs at a golf course. They said that Johnson should be given the most severe sentence under the guidelines to send a message that public corruption would not be tolerated.

The judge sided with the prosecution.

Original Story: Former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson will be sentenced today on federal corruption charges. Johnson pleaded guilty in May to taking as much as $1 million in a pay-to-play scheme, and today the court could send him to prison for 7 years. 

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. Jack Johnson's sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Leslie Johnson, a former county council member, infamously attempted to hide nearly $80,000 in her underwear after that taped phone conversation with her husband. She also flushed a check for $100,000 down the toilet in their home, according to FBI recordings. 

Leslie Johnson pleaded guilty in June to witness and evidence tampering. She will be sentenced Friday, Dec. 9. She faces 12 to 18 months in prison.

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