Former Prince George’s county executive Jack B. Johnson has left federal prison and entered a residential facility in Baltimore six months ahead of his expected release next summer, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons registry.
Johnson, who led the Prince George’s County government from 2002 to 2010, pleaded guilty in 2011 to corruption charges connected to a wider conspiracy involving bribes and transactions that entangled county business officials, developers and his wife, Leslie Johnson.
The once-popular Democratic county executive served most of his 87-month prison sentence at federal correctional institutions in Butner, N.C., and Cumberland, Md., before being transferred to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons’ residential reentry management program, which has an office near Fort Meade, Md.
Bureau spokeswoman Jill Tyson said Johnson, 67, will serve the remainder of his sentence at a halfway house in the region. She said the agency does not disclose the specific locations of such facilities.
The reentry program helps inmates such as Johnson reestablish ties to the community, and it may permit him some freedom to leave his assigned facility to look for work, receive counseling or visit people, according to the Bureau of Prisons website. But the program closely monitors inmates whenever they venture out.
Johnson’s transfer was first reported by WRC-TV (Channel 4).
Johnson and his wife were arrested at their Mitchellville home in November 2010 as part of an FBI sting operation. The pay-to-play schemes Jack Johnson helped mastermind, prosecutors said, netted him more than $1 million in bribes.
Investigators arrived at the house to find Leslie Johnson trying to hide thousands of dollars in cash and checks, at one point stuffing money into her undergarments and flushing items down the toilet.
Leslie Johnson, who was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her role in the scandal, was released in early 2013. Since then, she has been seen around the county, attending church and working the polls during the Democratic primaries in April on behalf of congressional candidate Glenn F. Ivey, a former Prince George’s state’s attorney.
When Jack Johnson completes his sentence in June, he will have served the longest term in prison for a politician in a corruption case in Maryland history.
One of Johnson’s former attorneys, Brian McDaniel, said that he has not had much contact with the former county executive since leaving Johnson’s defense team but that he plans to get in touch “to assist him in any way I can.”
“I’m looking forward to him resuming his life and having the opportunity to come home and be with his family and start his life anew,” McDaniel said Thursday.