Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) marked his first anniversary in office Tuesday by calling on county leaders and residents to move forward after his predecessor and political rival Jack B. Johnson was sentenced to seven years in prison in a wide-ranging corruption scheme.
Baker said in his statement:
“My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Johnson and his family. As you can image, this has been a very difficult time for our county. We have worked hard over the last year to restore pride and confidence in the government with our residents, county employees and the business community. I believe that we have made good progress, making it clear that this county is moving forward. I also want to thank our County employees who have done a fabulous job delivering service and for being incredible professionals through this ordeal.
“Any future developments that arise from this case will be examined and investigated by the Prince George’s County government. Yes we are moving forward, but I will not tolerate any person or entity slowing down our march to greatness.
“Our accomplishments are many, but I believe that our greatest accomplishment was coming together during one of our darkest hours and emerging a stronger and more focused county. We got better despite the situation and successfully improved the future of healthcare with the hospital MOU, created the $50 million EDI Fund to spur economic growth, reduced overall crime and we made education a top priority of this administration.
“It was one year ago today that I took office. Since day one, I have been focused on the future of this county and not the past. Today’s events have not changed my focus one bit and I will continue to work tirelessly to make this county the best it can be.”
Prince George’s County Council Chairman Andrea Harrison (D-Springdale) also issued a statement:
“The sentencing of Jack and Leslie Johnson this week marks a significant step in the judicial process, and hopefully final resolution of this matter. The Prince George’s County Council, beginning Legislative Year 2012 this week, remains focused on the work we were elected to do, serving the citizens of Prince George’s County, and ensuring that county government remains focused and dedicated to enhancing the lives of our residents and moving the county forward. ”