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Posted at 8:05 AM ET, 11/24/2010

More pressure on Leslie Johnson

By Miranda Spivack
Washington Post Editor

Prince George's County council member Will Campos (D) has become the fifth county legislator to urge Leslie Johnson to give up her just-won seat on the nine-member panel because of the corruption charges she is facing.

"Clearly you don't want to accuse anybody before they have due process, but on the basics alone, this does not look good, not just for the council but for the county in general," Campos said.

Johnson and her husband, outgoing County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), were arrested Nov. 12 on charges of evidence tampering and destruction of evidence. The Johnsons were overheard via federal wiretap plotting to get rid of a $100,000 check from a developer and stash $79,600 in Leslie Johnson's bra.

Campos joins council members Mel Franklin, Andrea Harrison, Mary Lehman and Eric Olson in a coalition opposing Johnson.

"There have been unfortunate events in the history of the county and this is just not helping at all. We are trying to enhance our image as opposed to potentially damaging it even more," Campos said. "I think that this is something that at minimum, should be requested."

Short of persuading the newly elected lawmaker to step aside, the council has little legal clout in the matter. Nothing in the county charter or state law prevents Johnson from taking her seat. If she does decide to serve, her council colleagues could limit her influence by denying her staff, committee assignments and other perquisites of the office, according to informal legal advice recently provided to the council.
Maryland does not have a recall law, and the Prince George's County charter bars council members from holding office only if they are physically or mentally unable to serve. A felony convicted would also force a council member to give up his or her seat.

If Johnson does not join the council, the panel would be deadlocked 4-4 in a leadership battle for council chairman between Ingrid Turner (D), who had Johnson's backing, and Andrea Harrison (D). Campos, who wants to be vice-chairman on Turner ticket, said he realized that by urging Johnson to step aside he was giving up that coalition's majority in the leadership fight.

"The important thing is the county first," he said. "I would not want the council to take any hits."

By Miranda Spivack  | November 24, 2010; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Prince George's County  
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Comments

PG has been opened lets open more. Shake up park and planning,housing,social services lets just clean everything up

Posted by: hlngaston | November 24, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse


wouldn't it be an admission of guilt if she were to give up her seat? how could she word it to say that she's giving up her seat but she is innocent of the charges and it not have negative consequences on her trial?

i doubt if she would do it anyway, but perhaps she could say she is giving up her seat to devote her full attention on clearing her name?

Posted by: cornbread_jones | November 24, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

THERE IS CORRUPTION IN PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY COURT HOUSE,BANKS,CORPORATIONS SUCH AS SUITLAND FAMILY AND LIFE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SYLVIA QUINTON U WILL FIND A HUGE COVER-UP.SHE WAS INVOLVED WITH JACK JOHNSON IN SOME DEVELOPMENT DEALS IN SUITLAND MARYLAND AND IN SURROUNDING AREAS IN MARYLAND.DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE OF MARYLAND.I HAVE PROOF AND FACTS.NO MORE DISRESPECT

Posted by: essieaberry | November 24, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

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