Guilty Plea Possible in Jack Johnson Case

Re-arraignment scheduled for Tuesday

A re-arraignment for former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson has been set for Tuesday, federal prosecutors said.

A re-arraignment signifies that Johnson intends to plead guilty to at least one charge, the Associated Press reported. Others may be dropped or modified as part of a plea arrangement.

Johnson was indicted in February on charges of extortion, bribery, witness and evidence tampering and conspiracy. He had pleaded not guilty.

Johnson and other state and local elected officials accepted gifts and campaign contributions above the state legal limits from developers and others in exchange for using their influence favorably, according to the indictment. Johnson's wife, Leslie, a member of the county council, also faces charges in the case. She is accused of stuffing almost $80,000 in her bra and flushing a $100,000 check down the toilet at her husband’s request as authorities closed in.

Johnson and other officials allegedly concealed the excess contributions by failing to report them and misrepresenting them.

Johnson solicited campaign contributions for his wifefrom Amrik Sigh Melhi, who owns several liquor stores, and conspired with him to violate campaign finance laws, the indictment says.

Johnson also helped developers obtain federal grant money from the county for development projects, according to the indictment. In return, Johnson allegedly received cash and checks, including a check for $100,000.

Jack Johnson’s re-arraignment will be at noon Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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