Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson (D) should get a sentence of up to 14 years in prison for his “audacious behavior” which “understandably captured the public’s attention and harmed the reputation of Maryland’s second-largest county and its 850,000 residents,” federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memo this week.
According to the memo, obtained by TPM from the U.S. Attorney’s office (it wasn’t available in electronic court system), a stiff sentence would be a “deterrent message” and “will resonate significantly with other public officials tempted to engage in similar conduct.” They’re recommending a judge stay within the recommending sentencing guidelines, which could send Johnson to jail for up to 14 years.
Prosecutors write: “As one of the most egregious and notorious instances of corruption and obstruction of justice in Maryland history, the government submits that Jack Johnson’s criminal conduct calls for a very significant sentence that will promote respect for federal law and deter other public officials from engaging in corruption and obstructing justice.”
Johnson’s wife Leslie Johnson is facing up to 18 months in jail for stuffing tens of thousands of dollars of cash in her underwear and flushing a check down the toilet.
Under Johnson’s leadership, prosecutors write, “government in Prince George’s County literally was for sale.” He’s set to be sentenced on Dec. 6, while his wife’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 9.
“Jack Johnson’s venality adversely affected everyone who lived, worked and tried to do business in Prince George’s County,” federal prosecutors write. “During his eight year tenure as the County’s leader, Jack Johnson criminally and shamelessly fouted the public trust and abused his lawful authority.”