County Executive Johnson and wife arrested

We are all familiar with, and are unfortunately becoming all too used to, the scandal that comes with the occasional indiscreet or corrupt politician, whether it be financial, sexual, or otherwise immoral. But for the most part, these scandals are mostly seen at the national level. For example, Bill Clinton and his extra-marital affair, Tim Geithner and his tax cheating, and Elliot Spitzer and his extra-curricular activities. So it may come as no surprise to hear about the arrest of two local elected officials in neighboring Prince George’s County.

County Executive Jack Johnson, Democrat, and his wife, Leslie Johnson, who was recently elected to the County Council, were arrested at their home on November 12 and are being charged with tampering with and destroying evidence pertaining to a federal investigation. This investigation, which has been going on for 5 years, is looking into real estate investors who allegedly have given elected officials monetary rewards for political and personal favors.

According to an article in USA Today, FBI agents heard a recorded phone conversation between Jack Johnson and wife Leslie which took place immediately after the agents had knocked on the Johnson family’s door. Mr. Johnson was recorded ordering his wife to flush what is believed to be a check down the toilet and to hide almost $80,000 in her underwear, according to the affidavit.

Currently, the Johnson’s both claim to be innocent of all charges. Though they were both released that day, Jack Johnson is currently on electronic home detention. Both could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

One cannot help but notice the irony in the timing of all this scandal. Even though Maryland bucked the trends of the nation-wide Democratic-ousting, this recent scandal involving two Democratic public officials – he on his way out of his second term and she having just been elected – is alarming and troubling to say the least. Is this what is to be expected from Maryland’s majority party? This story is still unfolding but it will be interesting to see how these two politicians fair in the coming weeks.

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About Kristin
1L student at UB School of Law.

One Response to County Executive Johnson and wife arrested

  1. Betsy Merena says:

    and all this on the heels of Sheila Dixon’s less than charitable actions last winter. it really makes you aware of how power can corrupt… especially in a state with one-party rule where there is no accountability!

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