Update, 4:45 p.m.: In a press release, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker, III called for County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson (Dist. 6) to step down, saying that it is in the best interest of the county.
"It is my opinion that if Ms. Johnson resigned, the Prince George’s County Council’s summer recess could be utilized to prepare for the inevitable special election thus allowing the residents of the 6th District more immediate representation while minimizing the time that the seat would remain vacant," Baker said in the release.
Update, 1:31 a.m.: U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson (Dist. 6) doesn't legally have to step down and that the federal government doesn't have the power to ask her to.
"It's pretty much on Johnson's conscience," he said
In the first telephone call, Jack Johnson alerted his wife, Leslie, that a federal search warrant would be issued soon. During the conversation, it was Leslie Johnson who suggested flushing the $100,000 check from a developer down the toilet. She was the first one to ask her husband about the $79,000 in cash, Rosenstein said.
Fifteen defendants have been charged in this federal probe and 12 have pleaded guilty.
"The tone is set from the top. The leadership of any organization sets the tone for how that organization is run," Rosenstein said.
With this federal probe, Johnson set a "bad tone."
Update, 11:11 a.m.: Leslie Johnson appeared before media outside the courthouse this morning, asking that she not be defined by this mistake.
"There is nothing I can do or say that would make this day any less difficult. I look forward to continuing to serve and making a difference in the lives of the people in need."
Johnson and her entourage left in a white GMC Suburban.
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein is expected to make a statement soon.
Update, 10:56 a.m.: County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson (Dist. 6) voluntarily agreed to plead guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit evidence and witness tampering.
Leslie, 59, agreed to this plea agreement on March 24.
Under the agreement, Johnson faces 20 years in prison, with three years of supervised release after this sentence and a $250,000 fine. She is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 13.
Also under plea agreement Johnson must forfeit the $79,600 that she tried to stuff in her underwear when federal investigators raided her home last November.
Johnson, originally from Mitchellville, did not yet say if she will step down from her county council seat. There was also no mention of any other forfeiture of funds, including any possible salary associated with her term on council.
Original Post, June 30: Prince George's County Councilwoman Leslie E. Johnson (Dist. 6) is expected to plead guilty Thursday in federal court in connection with a federal corruption case involving her husband, former County Executive Jack Johnson, according to WTOP.
The county councilwoman was charged with conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering.
Thursday’s scheduled hearing marks the second time a plea hearing has been set in Leslie Johnson’s case. A May court hearing was canceled two days before it was to occur, according to the Washington Post.
Patch will update you as new information becomes available, so check back often.