GREENBELT, Md.—Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, D.-Dist. 6, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering on June 30 in a federal courtroom in Greenbelt.

“Leslie Johnson’s criminal actions, which occurred after the November elections, violated the very essence of fairly representing her constituents who elected her to office,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely said. “A willing partner in her husband’s attempts to destroy the evidence that implicated his own corrupt acts, today’s conviction is a major step forward in bringing to justice those elected officials who have violated the trust bestowed upon them.”

Johnson took responsibility for her role in a Nov. 12, 2010 incident in which she tore up and flushed a $100,000 check from a developer and hid $79,600 in cash in her bra when federal agents came to search her home in Mitchellville.

Earlier that day, former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, Leslie’s husband, was caught on tape taking $15,000 in cash from business associate and developer, Mirza Baig. Federal agents entered the room and found Jack Johnson with cash on his person. Agents released Jack Johnson and as he drove home, he had a series of wiretapped conversations with Leslie, including those about what should be done with money the couple had in the house.

Johnson faces up to 20 years for the charge, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office says the agreed upon sentencing guidelines call for a 12-18 month sentence.

Johnson indicated that she plans on staying on the council for the time being, but under state law, she will be forced to resign after sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 13.

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO