Cleveland Councilman charged $ 127K in expense report plan

Federal prosecutors said a senior Cleveland councilman was busted Tuesday on charges of ejecting more than $ 127,000 from the city over an eight-year period.

Democrat Kenneth Johnson, who was elected in 1980, was arrested by FBI agents in Cleveland after a federal grand jury named him in a 15-count indictment with violations related to federal program theft for the Northern District of Ohio. US Attorney’s Office. Announced Tuesday.

The indictment alleges that 74-year-old Johnson and two comrades had stolen from City Coffers in Ward 4 by obtaining a reimbursement check from their general fund for maintenance expenses that had never been performed.

Johnson and co-rescuer Garnell Jamison, the council’s executive assistant for more than 20 years, contacted Robert Fitzpatrick, a city recreation worker, for the first time in 2010, and the worker received maintenance services such as mowing, property checks and snow removal Asked to do. Prosecution

Federal prosecutors said Fitzpatrick, who pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme earlier this month, served duties for six weeks, but Johnson never paid nor did Jamison.

“After the initial six weeks, Fitzpatrick did no ward service and continued to receive his salary from the city,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Authorities said 61-year-old Jamison distributed the timesheets to Fitzpatrick, who signed them, although the activists did not actually serve wards in the early six weeks.

Jamieson is alleged to have given Johnson a timesheet for his approval, which he submitted along with his official council’s expense report. The councilman then allegedly requested a maximum reimbursement of $ 1,200 for each month’s expenses between January 2010 and October 2018.

Each check was later deposited into an individual bank account owned by Johnson, totaling $ 127,000, federal prosecutors said.

Johnson is facing charges including conspiracy to commit federal program theft, theft of federal program, assistance and preparation of false tax returns, witness tampering, and misappropriation of records in federal investigations.

US Attorney Bridget M. “Today’s allegations have expanded the exploitation of public office for personal gain,” Brennan said. ‚ÄúThere may be a temporary financial benefit for those involved in such conduct, but it disturbs the public’s trust in their elected officials. Where an elected official is accused of disobeying their oaths and obligations, the public should be confident that we will not neglect ourselves. “

Johnson was one of Cleveland’s longest-serving city council members, elected in 1980. Clevelpiece reported.

Attempts to reach Johnson’s attorney were unsuccessful, reported Tuesday.

A third person, John Hopkins, who worked as the executive director of The Bakay Shaker Square Development Corporation in Johnson’s ward, was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program theft and federal program theft.

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