Former Prince George’s Co. Executive Sentenced To More Than 7 Years For Corruption

GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — Tuesday, a judge handed a once-powerful Maryland politician one of the longest sentences ever for corruption while in office.

Mike Hellgren was with former Prince George’s County executive and state’s attorney Jack Johnson when he learned he was headed to federal prison.

Johnson, once the leader of Maryland’s second-largest county, sold his office by accepting bribes from developers. Prosecutors say those bribes were worth more than a million dollars. Then Johnson seemingly laughed off the investigation.

“If one of the prosecutors is able to bring someone like me down, they brag their whole career, I prosecuted Jack Johnson,” Johnson said in a YouTube video.

But he wasn’t laughing in federal court when a judge ordered him to pay $100,000, seized his classic 1953 Mercedes and sentenced him to seven years and three months in federal prison.

His lawyers begged the court for mercy, saying Johnson now suffers from Parkinson’s disease and was closed to being confined to a wheelchair but prosecutors showed a picture of him playing golf after that diagnosis.

The judge said, “You were not elected to line your pockets. You brought this on yourself.”

“If Jack Johnson’s story were a screenplay, critics would say that it’s too bizarre to be true,” Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney, said.

And Johnson got his wife, Leslie, involved during the raid on his home, asking her to hide thousands of dollars in bribe money.

Johnson told the court, “In my wildest dreams, I could not imagine being in a place like this. I worked so hard for this county. I want to apologize to the people of Prince George’s County and to my wife. I am accepting my responsibility and am haunted by that. Judge, I’ve lost everything.”

“Jack Johnson could have been a role model for integrity but instead he chose to be a poster child for corruption,” Rosenstein said.

Leslie Johnson will be sentenced on Friday.

Johnson will report to prison Feb. 3.

More from Mike Hellgren
  • concern citizen

    CBS or WJZ you are losing you audience by posting all the racist comments on here.

  • Tim

    What racist comments?? WJZ and CBS censor most everything people post on this site.
    If you are truly a concerned citizen, you would be more appalled at some moderator censoring people’s right to an opinion. As the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year, that speech can sometimes be hateful, but people have the right to say what they want.
    If you have a problem with complete freedom of speech, move to the Middle East

    • willie

      Tim Concerned citizen is a whiner. Bet she an overweight gym teacher who comes home every night & plows through a box of butter creams while staring at her poodle & wishing it were a man. Probabl;y will take early retirement & then kill herself.

  • topper

    This lying, deceitful, thieving Piece Of S will hopefully get his in jail. So what if he’s ill – serves him right…Karma’s is a bit*ch.

  • concern citizen

    Tim that not freedom of speech, that is pure race bating.

  • Tim

    It is still freedom of speech, just because you don’t like doesn’t mean that a person does not have the right to say it.

  • Jonah

    He received over one million dollars in bribes, but is only ordered to pay $100,000. The math on this one doesn’t add up.

  • Jethro Hooper

    I have a feeling that he’ll be quoted many times in prision by his cellmates, “stuff it in your panties,” Of course, the fact that he is getting the equivalent of $1.3 million for each year served probably makes him gleeful,

  • From The Coexecutive

    […] Former Prince George's Co. Executive Sentenced To More Than 7 … Tuesday, a judge handed a once-powerful Maryland politician one of the longest sentences ever for corruption while in office. […]

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