The Maryland County Council member tried to keep her seat until sentencing for witness and evidence tampering.
Leslie Johnson, a Prince George’s County, Maryland council member, submitted her resignation Tuesday morning after pleading guilty last week in federal court to conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering. During an FBI raid last November of the home she shares with her husband Jack B. Johnson, then county executive, she was discovered trying to flush a $100,000 check from a developer down a toilet and hiding close to $80,000 in her bra.
Johnson had initially said that she would remain in office until her sentencing on October 13 and continue to earn her $96,417 annual salary. She had been elected to the council only days before she and her husband were arrested. Her decision to stay in office angered her fellow council members and constituents not only because she is “technically now a convicted felon,” as one told The Washington Times, but also because her staying in office would prolong the process of filling her seat.
Johnson’s resignation will be effective July 31, and will mark the beginning of the end of the final chapter on an ambitious power couple who allowed their roles as leaders in one of the nation’s most affluent African-American communities to go straight to their heads and their wallets. Their arrests and ultimate sentencings are part of a widespread corruption case that also has brought down a former county police sergeant, three developers and a couple who owns a county liquor store. Jack Johnson, who pled guilty to federal felony counts of bribery, extortion and witness and evidence tampering in May, will be sentenced in September. Both Johnsons face several years in prison.