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November 13, 2010

Corruption accusations in gorgeous Prince George's

Federal agents who pounded on the door of Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson's Mitchellville Friday morning seem to have prompted a drama that is so far overtaking their four year corruption case.

The county exec wasn't home, but his wife Leslie (who in September handily beat a field of five other primary candidates for a county council seat) heard the knock, saw two women at the door and made a brief phone call to her husband that her lawyers will likely spend weeks, if not months, trying to suppress.

The conversation, taped by the FBI, includes Jack Johnson suggesting that his wife flush what the feds assumed to be a $100,000 check from a developer down the toilet. While too early to know how the call will affect the case, it had the immediate impact of making famous yet another plumber. This time it was Steve Willsey, who was called to search the Johnsons' pipes for evidence.

The Post reported that he inspected the Johnsons' toilets, but had not found anything Friday afternoon.

The detail that peaked the most interest was Jack Johnson's apparent suggestion that his wife stuff tens of thousands of dollars in her bra. According to court papers, the couple had a frantic discussion about cash in the home and Johnson said: "Put it in your bra and walk out or something, I don't know what to do." She later told him: "I have it in my bra," according to court papers.

The FBI reported that they "recovered" $79,600 from "her underwear." No details about the denominations of the bills have been made public, though The Post's Martin Weil estimated just how much padding that size a wad of cash would create.

Leslie Johnson's apparent miracle bra made us wonder if political wives being ignored by the billion-dollar lingerie market. Possible slogans for a corruption line of underwear: "When he wants you to cover up more than just your chest ..." or "An underwire that is a wire."

With the feds promising more charges in days to come, we imagine the focus will snap back to the underlying pay-to-play corruption investigation.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:01 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Law and Courts
        

Comments

"Knew it", says a former county employee.

This is a reminder of the corruption in the Baltimore Mayor's office that never really came to light because the Mayor resigned with a slap on the hand about food stamp issues. My question is what got covered up because of her deal to resign? That story went away?? I am sure Prince George's County is not the only local government exposed to pay for play politics. It happened under Mayor Fenty's watch, but that too has disappeared from the public's eye.

I've lived in the county now for six years and have seen not much else than talk and high property taxes. In fact, besides the Southern County Tech and Rec Center scheduled for completion next fall, I don't know of anything new other than schools, I hope that Mr. Baker concentrates on ethics and competence -- as opposed to who you know and the need for cash to finance expensive cars and homes (that they cannot afford). Mr. Johnson did a great job with the AAA rating but who knows if that too is not a farce, considering Wall Street's bleak record. It's a sad day for Prince George's County, and a black resident like myself. The first order of business should be to get Mrs. Leslie Johnson off the Council and start a clean slate.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when the Democrat's power goes unchecked. (See: Dixon, Frosh, Vallario)
Remember: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They have controlled the majority of Maryland forever, they know how to get what they want.

It's "piqued" interest, not "peaked."

Harford,

You may not like his position on issues, but to accuse Senator Frosh of corruption is serious. What do you have to back up your accusation, other than the fact he doesn't want you to run around with a gun? Not voting the way you want him to or controlling what bills come out of committee do not equal corruption. It's all part of the legislative process.

Also corruption know no political party label. Go see the movie "Casino Jack" or watch "Boardwalk Empire" if you want proof.

"unrest", You seem to question the claim that Senator Frosh is corrupt. Well, he ma not be corrupt, but he certainly is a hypocrite. He has held one of those "impossible to get" MD Concealed Carry permits for years, and yet he ALWAYS votes against EVERY proposed bill to restore Second Amendment Rights to the fine law-abiding citizens of MD. He believes that his constituents are not trustworthy, and their lives are not worthy of defense, unlike his. He believes that different laws and rules apply for him and his ilk. He may not be "corrupt", but he certainly believes that he should be allowed to function under different rules than everyone else...

I couldn't agree with you more...

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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