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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jack Johnson may be focus of kickback inquiry

(Updated November 4, 2005

"Johnson goes on the offensive; Calls state probe a 'fishing' expedition"
Examiner, November 4, 2005 (by Anna Bailey, Examiner Staff Writer)
Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson fired back Thursday at state prosecutors and said their investigation into alleged improprieties involving county contracts was a fishing expedition. [More]
"Prince George's Contracts Inquiry Widens; County Executive's Campaign Chief Awarded $100,000 Deals, Jury Hears"
Post, November 4, 2005 by Oveta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writer)
. . . "You can go fishing, but you're not going to find anything," Johnson said. "I'm absolutely convinced Prince George's County under my administration is the most ethical, well-managed that you'll find." [More]
"County exec may be focus of kickback inquiry"
Examiner, November 2, 2005 (by Anna Bailey, Examiner Staff Writer)
The Maryland State Prosecutor's investigation of alleged Prince George's County contracting improprieties is shifting its focus to County Executive Jack Johnson, sources familiar with the situation told The Examiner.

[. . .]

Johnson spokesman Jim Keary declined to comment on the focus of the inquiry, but reiterated that Johnson's administration is cooperating.

The State Prosecutor's Office subpoenaed several employees in Johnson's office to appear before a grand jury investigating allegations of county officials demanding kickbacks in exchange for awarding contracts.

[. . .]

A high-level source said Wilson told others the prosecution's line of questioning focused mostly on Johnson. Other sources familiar with the investigation said the state is trying to connect the case to Johnson.

Investigation background

The State Prosecutor's Office investigation into the county government became public in May when Johnson announced he was cooperating with the inquiry and had fired Robert Isom, a deputy director in the Department of Environmental Resources. Isom was under investigation and has since pleaded guilty to demanding $250,000 from a company bidding on a security contract with the county. Part of Isom's plea agreement requires him to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Earlier: Prince George's Officials Called to Grand Jury (updated)
Later: Corruption investigations of PG government continue

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