The Washington Post

Leslie Johnson seeks to delay Oct. 13 sentencing

Former Prince George’s County Council member Leslie Johnson, who pleaded guilty in June in connection with a broad public corruption probe, is seeking a delay of her scheduled Oct. 13 sentencing hearing.

Johnson’s attorney on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Greenbelt seeking the delay.

“In light of scheduling conflicts that have recently come about, undersigned counsel requests that this hearing be continued to a later date convenient to the Court and the parties,” Johnson’s attorney, Shawn M. Wright, wrote.

Wright wrote that she has discussed the motion with Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Crowell IV, who is the government’s lead prosecutor, and that he does not oppose the request.

The motion asks that U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte reschedule the sentencing “to a date to be agreed upon by the parties and the Court.”

On June 30, Leslie Johnson, 59, admitted in federal court that she tried to cover up bribes by flushing a $100,000 check down the toilet and stuffing $79,600 in her bra and underpants as federal agents knocked at her door. Authorities said she was trying to conceal bribes taken by her husband, former County Executive Jack B. Johnson.

Leslie Johnson pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering. She remained on the County Council until the end of July, when she resigned her post.

Johnson and her husband were arrested Nov. 12, 2010 as part of a wide-ranging investigation into whether county officials solicited and took bribes.

After initially proclaiming his innocence, Jack B. Johnson in May pleaded guilty to two felony charges. Johnson, 62, admitted he accepted more than $400,000 in bribes while in office. He was arrested in the waning days of his second and final administration.

Jack Johnson had been scheduled to be sentenced in September, but that hearing was postponed until Dec. 6.

Three developers, a former high-ranking Prince George’s fire official, three former Prince George’s police officers, the county’s former housing director and four others have pleaded guilty in connection with the probe.

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein has said the investigation is continuing.


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