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 .