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Top administrator was county’s ‘biggest crook’
Question of the Day
“Let me call the chief and find out who it is okay,” Johnson replied. “Yeah and I’ll call and I’ll, I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Investigators recorded Melhi asking Johnson for at least seven separate favors, including help getting Tick Tock’s parking lot salted by county snowplows and guarantees that one of his restaurants would pass a county health inspection.
In the months after agreeing to help Melhi, Johnson repeatedly directed the liquor store owner to donate money to the campaign of his wife, Leslie E. Johnson, as she ran for a seat on the County Council. Leslie Johnson was elected to the council but stepped down after she pleaded guilty in June to witness- and evidence-tampering charges.
A transcript of a 2009 recording between an undercover investigator and a county police officer, who worked security for Melhi part-time at Tick Tock, shed some light on Jack Johnson’s relationship with Melhi.
Delabrer pleaded guilty in May to corruption charges involving his role in protecting black-market shipments of liquor and cigarettes to Melhi’s stores and resigned from the police department. Other recordings transcribed in the sentencing memo show that Melhi asked Johnson to intervene when Delabrer was facing a transfer to a police district far from Tick Tock.
“He’s connected to the County Exec. Which is everybody’s boss in my county,” Delabrer said of Melhi, referring to him by his middle name, Singh. “When I pissed off my captain, he tried to send me to f–– Oxon Hill. You know, I had Singh just squash that s–.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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