- Associated Press - Monday, July 19, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson was scolded by a judge for not fulfilling community service requirements stemming from guilty pleas to disturbing the peace for separate incidents involving women at nightclubs last year.

Kansas City Municipal Court Judge Joseph Locascio reinstated Johnson’s probation during a hearing Friday, rather than sending him to jail. Johnson, who was signed by the Washington Redskins in March, pleaded guilty last year to disturbing the peace and was sentenced to two years of probation.

He initially was charged with two counts of assault, but the charges were amended as part of his plea agreement.

Johnson, 30, was ordered to work with children at the Kansas City Police Athletic League for 40 hours. Johnson refused to play sports with the children and told police officials he wanted to start an art program. But the program ended after it didn’t draw enough students. Johnson received credit for nine hours of service.

“If I knew you didn’t want to do sports with kids, I would have assigned you to pick up trash on the highway,” Mr. Locascio told Johnson during a 20-minute hearing, according to The Kansas City Star. “That’s what we typically have defendants do.”

“The idea that you would draw pictures with kids who want to participate in athletics is absurd,” the judge said.

Mr. Locascio told Johnson he could complete his remaining community service hours with any nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.. If Johnson successfully completes probation by March, the convictions will be removed from his record. If not, he would have to appear before Mr. Locascio again.

Johnson, who ended his Chiefs career with 5,996 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns and caught 151 passes for 1,369 yards and six TDs, was released by the team in 2009 as he was set to return from a suspension for his various off-field problems. Kansas City drafted Johnson in the first round out of Penn State in 2003.

During Friday’s hearing, City Prosecutor Beth Murano also detailed Johnson’s other violations, including failing to send in some monthly forms to his probation officer. He was also told to complete an anger management program. His attorney said Johnson had taken a domestic violence course in Miami, where Johnson lives. But the judge questioned if the class was enough.

Locascio said the course wouldn’t comply “if the NFL offers a one-hour program saying, ‘Don’t hit your wife.’”


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