Who had the worst week in Washington? Former Pr. George’s executive Jack Johnson.
By Chris Cillizza,
Jack Johnson finally said he was sorry this past week. But it was too little — and way too late.
The former Prince George’s county executive became famous/infamous (there’s almost no difference anymore, is there?) after being arrested more than a year ago for his lead role in a widespread political corruption case that saw Johnson bank $1 million in bribes.
The wiretapped conversations between Johnson and his wife — he advised her to flush a check for $100,000 down the toilet and to hide almost $80,000 in cash in her bra — quickly became the stuff of the Washington region’s political lore.
In an attempt to lessen the blow at his sentencing, Johnson apologized Tuesday for what he had done — for the first time since his arrest — and touted all the good he had accomplished for the county.
His lawyers added that Johnson is unwell and should be spared a lengthy prison stay. “To sentence Mr. Johnson to many years in [prison] is a death sentence for him,” his attorney said. (Johnson, 62, entered the courtroom using a cane, and his lawyers have said that he suffers from an aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease.)
The judge disagreed, handing down an 87-month sentence — that’s a little over seven years, for you non-math majors out there — and condemning Johnson’s “deliberate march down a long path of kleptocracy.” Kleptocracy!
It didn’t help Johnson’s cause that a week after being diagnosed with tremors over the summer, the FBI caught him on camera playing 18 holes of golf — and carrying his own bag.
Jack Johnson, for flushing your political career down the drain, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org .