Feds: Md. Politician Solicited Donations On Behalf Of Alleged Bra-Stuffing Wife

February 14, 2011 9:03 am

The other shoe has dropped for Jack B. Johnson, the former executive of Prince George’s County, Maryland, who rose to fame when he allegedly told his wife to stuff cash in her bra as FBI agents raided their home as part of a corruption investigation.

The Valentine’s Day indictment of Jack Johnson on conspiracy, extortion and bribery charges, first reported by TBD, leaves out his wife, Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, who has already been charged in the bra-stuffing episode. But Leslie Johnson’s name and campaign does come up plenty of times in the indictment against her husband.“Hey look, also, I’m gonna come by, but I need you now, I, I need you to, ah, raise, ah, six thousand dollars for my wife,” Johnson allegedly told liquor store owner Amrik Melhi in March. “But I don’t want to have a fund–, I don’t want to have a fundraiser. I just want you to go out and just pick up a few checks and urn … and then, ah, you know, she, you gonna need some help on the council, alright?”

Amrik Melhi along with his wife Ravinder opened their first liquor store in Riverdale in 1985, according to a 2005 Washington Post profile of the couple. From that one store they built a small liquor and real estate empire valued at over $26 million according to the Baltimore Sun.

Around June, 15, Johnson told another public official that the unnamed “Developer A” was “just bugging the fuck out of me, man.” Public Official A advised that they were close to settling Developer A’s project, and advised the matter would be resolved within the next week.

“Developer A” called Johnson about three days later and said advised that he had a check for his wife Leslie Johnson, according to the indictment.

Federal prosecutors say the purpose of the conspiracy was for Johnson as well as “Public Official A, and other public officials to obtain things of value – including but not limited to money, trip expenses, meals, drinks, hotel rooms, airline tickets, rounds of golf, employment, mortgage payments, and monetary and in-kind campaign contributions to state and local officials that exercised decision-making authority on behalf of local governments, including officials within the County’s Executive Branch and Legislative Branch – in exchange for defendant Jack Johson, Public Official A, and other public officials performing and agreeing to perform favorable official action for, and to use their influence on behalf of, A. Melhi, Developers A and B, other developers and business persons, and their companies.”

Additional reporting by Alex Sciuto.

Jack Johnson Indictment

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