Md. Officials Caught on Tape: Flush Bribe Check, Stuff Cash in Panties

Nov 15, 2011 12:43pm

If you wanted your wife to hide almost $80,000 in cash from FBI agents knocking on your door, what would you tell her to do?

When faced with that dilemma, former Prince George’s, Md., County Executive Jack Johnson said, “Put it in your panties and walk it out of the house.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office has released audio of Johnson saying that and more to his wife, former County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, over the phone.

Johnson and his wife have been charged with tampering with a witness and evidence relating to a federal offense. Jack and Leslie pleaded guilty to corruption charges in May and June of this year, respectively, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In light of what Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely calls “a long and complex investigation by the FBI in Prince George’s County,” officials say Johnson took bribes including a $100,000 check in exchange for his influence over the county’s choice of which developers to fund with its HOME Investments Partnerships program.

Maryland’s Gazette.net reported that federal prosecutors say the taped phone calls offer enough evidence to put the former county executive behind bars for at least one year.

On one of the calls, listeners can hear FBI agents pounding on the door to his home as Jack says to Leslie of the $100k check, “Yeah, flush that” down the toilet.

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