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FBI Brings in Plumber After Busting Prominent D.C. Area County Executive and Wife

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday brought in a plumber to try and keep some evidence from going down the toilet.

According to the Washington Post and an FBI affidavit,  the  FBI summoned the  plumber after agents arrested Prince George’s  County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie Friday on charges of trying to destroy bribe money from a developer.

Both Johnson and his wife were heard on a wiretapped phone talking about flushing a check from a developer down the toilet as FBI agents waited outside the house, according to an FBI affidavit. Johnsons’ wife is a  County Council member in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington.

The plumber, Steve Wilson of Gene’s Plumbing in Harwood, Md.  told the Post: “I’m checking the toilet to make sure there is nothing in them.”  He said so far he hadn’t found anything.

Agents arrest Jack Johnson/nbcwashington.com

The arrest came as a shock even though Johnson’s questionable relationship with developers had surfaced publicly in the past.  Johnson, who was the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County before becoming the county executive, had been a well respected political figure in the Washington area.

An FBI affidavit by agent Wendy Munoz of the Baltimore field Division stated that Johnson took a $100,000 check from a developer in exchange for helping get government housing funds for a development.  And on November 5, the FBI recorded Johnson taking $5,000 in cash from the developer, according to the affidavit. A week later, the same developer gave Johnson $15,000 in cash.

Agents entered the room after the $15,000 payment and confronted Johnson, who said the cash was for a party marking the end of his tenure as county executive, the affidavit said. He also said he had no business with the developer, which was a false statement, according to the affidavit. Agents then recovered the $15,000.

On Friday morning at 10:10 a.m., FBI agents knocked on the front door or Johnson’s home in Mitchellville, Md., a Washington suburb, according to the affidavit.

Two minutes later, Johnson’s wife called Johnson on an FBI-tapped phone.

The wife told Johnson two women were at the door.

“Don’t answer it,” Johnson said, according to the affidavit.

Johnson then told his wife to go upstairs and go to “my drawer” and find a check from the developer the FBI believes was the $100,000 check. He said the check was in the underwear drawer.

The wife then asked if she should remove any cash and Johnson said “Yes.”

Johnson then told his wife to put the cash in her underwear.

After she found the check, Johnson told his wife: “Tear it up! That is the only thing you have to do.”

She then asked if she should remove the cash from the basement and Johnson said: “Put it in your bra and walk out or something and I don’t know what to do.”

Leslie Johnson then said: “What do you want me to do with the check?”

“Tear it up,” Johnson replied.

Then Johnson told her to flush the check down the toilet.

“Yes, flush that,” he said, according to the affidavit.

He then told her to put the cash in her underwear.

“I have it in my bra,” she replied.

FBI agents entered the home and found $79,600 in Leslie Johnson’s underwear.

Read FBI Affidavit


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