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Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Pr. George's officials say Johnsons should quit

By Miranda S. Spivack

Three Prince George's County officials are calling for County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) to step aside before his term expires Dec. 6. They also said his wife, Leslie Johnson, newly elected to the council, should decline to be sworn in.

"I would do it, I would step down," said Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George's), whose views were seconded by County Council member-elect Mel Franklin, and Del. Justin Ross, both Democrats, on WTOP radio's "Politics Hour."

Both Johnsons were arrested Nov. 12 after they were overheard on a wiretap plotting to flush a $100,000 check from a developer down a toilet and conceal $79,600 in Leslie Johnson's bra.

The lawmakers acknowledged that the Johnsons are entitled to a presumption of innocence but that the cases are a major distraction and are damaging the county's reputation.

All said that the new administration of County Executive-elect Rushern L. Baker III (D) will take steps to end the county's reputation for "pay to play."

"We are going to really move forward. We have to get beyond this scandal and move this scandal beyond the incoming leadership," Franklin said.

Franklin said that he hoped a majority of incoming council members would agree with him that Leslie Johnson (D) should not serve. The Washington Post reported this morning that there are at least four council members -- Franklin, Vice Chairman Andrea Harrison, council member Eric Olson, and newly elected council member Mary Lehman -- who want to appeal to Leslie Johnson to step aside.

Jack Johnson's spokesman Jim Keary said today after the radio program that his boss has no intention of stepping down and will serve out the remainder of his term. Leslie Johnson could not be immediately contacted; she has declined all requests to discuss her circumstances.

By Miranda S. Spivack  | November 19, 2010; 11:21 AM ET
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Walker, Franklin and Ross are 100% right. These guys are three of the best Prince George's has to offer, it is good to see them speaking up.

Posted by: heathgrom | November 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

No. No. No. Do not stand down, Jack. You have promised that you will be vindicated - the same promise made by Charlie Rangel a few months ago. (wink, wink, nod, nod)


Posted by: adjjones | November 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

You all are missing the entire picture. The Johnsons have been exhibiting the below PD since their arrival onto the political stage. Haven't you seen all the pictures on the walls, the roadways, the Web/Facebook sites, etc. The signs yell at us…Look at ME…It’s All About ME, ME, ME. They love the center stage and in their minds they have to claim their “Oscar” and stepping down would totally defeat the goal of WINNING it. We really need to keep them in prayer because the situation is psychological and they’re just not seeing/hearing/feeling what others’ are experiencing. Psychological disorders/behaviors are very serious and many people all around us have it and either don’t know it, or ignore the signs/symptoms/behaviors.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder (PD).
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness. To read/understand more go to

Posted by: blessed7 | November 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Good job, guys!

Posted by: PGDEM | November 19, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

At least tbere are tbree PG pols who have some decency and honesty. If the Johnsons were really serious about the "perceptions" about their county, they would not hesitate to step down and Baker and the new council try to clean things up. I know in our law system, you are innocent until proven guilty, but it sure sounds pretty fishy when the FBI is at your door and the wife stuffs $80,000 in her bra, while the feds listen in on your wiretapped phone.

Posted by: VikingRider | November 19, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

All the other members of the County Council should refuse to take the oath of office and see what Leslie Johnson has to say about THAT ... alone, she can do NOTHING.

Posted by: Improperbostonian | November 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

No doubt JJ will stay. I'm sure there must be some kind of plush government retirement awaiting him. So why leave now?

Posted by: gfhoward258 | November 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Can someone help me out with it? I have yet to see any info on this. How does one "hide" $79+ in their bra??

Posted by: jdking1952 | November 19, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

An answer for jkking1952: The size of the bra or the denomination of the bills had to be uncommonly large to force a fit.

Posted by: anon591 | November 19, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to the three Council members and one Delegate who have spoken out requesting the two Johnson's to step aside. I wonder about the other Democratic County Office-holders who need to communicate their postures relating to this scandal. Where are Hoyer, Edwards, other Council-members, the State Senators and other Delegates on this important matter? Waiting for other shoes to drop?

Posted by: 15of18 | November 19, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

In response to jdking1952, you divide the money and put it on the sides of the bra under your arms. I haven't done it before but it's doable. Besides, I'm quite sure the FBI has photos. I know they're innocent until proven guilty but both should step down. Although, 80k hidden in your bra makes you look awfully darn guilty.

Posted by: jlb2802 | November 20, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

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