Pr. George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson

2006 Photo By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post
Since Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) took office four years ago, 15 of his friends and political supporters have been awarded 51 county contracts totaling nearly $3.3 million, according to records and interviews.
 
The Prince George's County Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill requiring that certain contracts be approved by legislative action after having expressed concern about County Executive Jack B. Johnson's awarding of millions of dollars in contracts to his friends and supporters.
 
TO THE REGION'S roster of august centers of learning and knowledge, add another: the Prince George's County government. Guided by the profligate spending habits and unchecked power of County Executive Jack B. Johnson, Prince George's has devoted a few million dollars to commissioning reports on weighty topics such as trends in "regional, national and global economics."
 
The Prince George's County Council voted yesterday to give itself oversight of certain contracts, acting just days after revelations about contracts awarded by County Executive Jack B. Johnson to friends and supporters.
 
Prince George's County Council member David Harrington (D-Cheverly), needed a shirt for his pastor's funeral in 2003, so he bought one for $37.99 at a Temple Hills store called Uniforms & Lingerie Inc.
 
IN FAIRFAX County, the area's largest jurisdiction, elected members of the local governing body do not have county-issued credit cards. Ditto in Montgomery County. In both localities, politicians who incur expenses on county business pay with personal credit cards, then put in for reimbursement when appropriate. The top elected officials in both counties fly coach when they travel on business.
 
Maryland State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh will investigate whether Prince George's County officials misused county-issued credit cards by charging thousands of dollars in personal expenses.
 
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money designated for community projects in Prince George's County have gone to organizations directly connected to the people doling out the money or with ties to County Executive Jack B. Johnson, according to records and interviews.
 
THE TAWDRY saga of the $3.5 million fund arising from Prince George's County's negotiations to land the gigantic National Harbor development keeps getting tawdrier.
 

© 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive