- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Prosecutors ask Leslie Johnson to pay fine before serving sentence
Federal prosecutors are seeking full payment of a court-imposed fine from former Prince George's County lawmaker Leslie Johnson before she begins her prison term, just as they did in husband Jack Johnson's related case.
Court records show prosecutors have asked for the $15,000 fine to be paid in full before Leslie Johnson reports to prison March 9, contending that she has $170,000 in the bank.
But her attorneys said that with more than $55,000 incurred in legal fees and an estimated $54,622 needed to pay her bills while incarcerated for one year, she will need the money in her bank account to sustain her family.
The 60-year-old Johnson, a Democrat, had just been elected to the County Council when she and husband Jack Johnson, the county executive, were arrested and charged in 2010 as part of a widespread federal corruption probe. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering, charges stemming from a taped phone conversation in which her husband directed her to flush a $100,000 check down the toilet and hide nearly $80,000 in her underwear.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte ruled in January that Johnson could defer paying $5,000 of the fine until released from prison, according to court records. The remaining $10,000 would be paid in monthly $500 increments, the judge ruled.
In court records filed this month asking that the fine be paid up front, the U.S. attorney's office stated the Johnson's monthly household income is $9,395. The income includes a $3,000 pension and $1,600 in Social Security income benefits for Jack Johnson, a $3,295 pension for Leslie Johnson, and $1,500 in rental income.
"The defendant has over $170,000 in liquid assets available for her use," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen F. Loucks in court records. "Even if one took into account and added in the purported $55,000 legal fees ... it is apparent that the defendant has the wherewithal to pay the $15,000 fine now."
Leslie Johnson's expected monthly expenses, which include mortgage payments, health and car insurance, and financial support for her elderly mother and disabled sister, were documented at $4,551, said her attorney, Shawn Wright.
"As such, Ms. Johnson is currently engaged in critical financial planning to ensure that her familial and financial responsibilities are met while she serves her term of incarceration and that the cash she currently has in bank accounts will sustain her and her family during this extraordinarily challenging time in their lives," Ms. Wright wrote in court documents.
Jack Johnson, a Democrat, pleaded guilty to extortion and evidence tampering charges related to his acceptance of up to $1 million in bribes while in office. His term as county executive ended shortly after his arrest.
Prosecutors previously sought to have Jack Johnson pay his $100,000 fine up front before his prison sentence began Feb. 18. That motion, however, was denied, as was his motion to defer his entire fine payment until after his 87-month sentence.
The original order to have Jack Johnson pay $30,000 of the fine before going to prison was upheld. It was unclear Monday whether he had paid the fine before reporting to prison at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.
© 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 email@example.com.
- Released from hospital, Marion Barry reflects on his health and political career
- Montgomery County matches homicide total from 2013
- Council member introduces bill to regulate D.C. party promoters
- D.C. Council approves bill decriminalizing marijuana
- D.C. mayor expresses 'outrage' over Secret Service road closures
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again