A federal grand jury indicted a Democratic State Senator in Michigan with conspiracy and theft crimes.
The Department of Justice announced:
Charged was Bertram Johnson, Jr., 43, of Highland Park, Michigan
The two-count indictment charges that from approximately March 2014 through January 2015, Johnson, Jr., a Senator for the State of Michigan, conspired to commit theft, and did commit theft, of monies under the care, custody, and control of the State of Michigan.
According to the indictment, Johnson borrowed thousands of dollars in cash from an unnamed co-conspirator, and later placed that co-conspirator on the public payroll as a member of his staff, knowing that the co-conspirator was a “ghost employee” who contributed no work on behalf of Johnson’s staff. The indictment alleges that Johnson placed this “ghost employee” on the public payroll solely to pay off Johnson’s personal loan debt, and that the ghost employee was paid over $23,000 in taxpayer money.
“Theft of taxpayer’s money by elected public officials, as these charges allege, is disheartening and will not be tolerated” Lemisch said.
“Today’s indictment is an unfortunate reminder that public officials sometimes squander the public’s trust in exchange for personal gain”, said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. “Rooting out public corruption at all levels of government is an investigative priority of the FBI.”
“Senator Johnson’s alleged actions abused the trust of his constituents and amounted to simple theft,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel of the Detroit Field Office. “It is in these cases that the IRS takes particular interest in individuals, allegedly abusing the power they have been entrusted with – for their own personal benefit. This investigation exemplifies interagency collaboration and the United States’ commitment to combat the abuse of power and to elevate transparency and accountability.
“Johnson, a Democrat who has served in the Legislature since 2010, has had several financial problems since taking office, including unpaid bills and a series of late or incomplete campaign finance reports, according to Michigan Secretary of State records.
In Lansing, state Senate police on Monday morning blocked off the elevator to Johnson’s office in the Connie B. Binsfield Office Building. Johnson represents the 2nd Senate District, which stretches from southwest Detroit through the city’s east side and includes Highland Park, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and the Pointes.”
Another Democratic politician turns out to be a criminal.
(Image: Photo Source)