Monday, November 15, 2010
People often wonder how smart psychopaths can make such stupid mistakes that cause them to get caught for their crimes and make it easy for the state to get a conviction. In one word: arrogance.
Arrogance is going to put Prince George's County, Maryland's County Executive Jack Johnson behind bars for the rest of his life and we who live in his jurisdiction are ecstatic. Jack has a massive ego, and he ran this county like the corrupt leader of a poor African nation. In spite of this, Johnson has been in office for almost eight years. Why the voters here reelected this scumbag, I will never understand. During his two administrations, Johnson has contributed to the demise and bad reputation of our county by giving his unqualified buddies large contracts, ignoring the requirement that these jobs have to be bid on and the work given to the company with the best offer. He and his wife have been arrested for tampering with evidence and he is accused of taking large kickbacks for giving his friends numerous deals that they would not have won if they had gone through the required process.
Graft, extortion and corruption have been rampant in Prince George's County for a very long time. A number of politicians have been arrested in the last few years for using their appointments to pad their pockets. In spite of these arrests, the ever arrogant Johnson thought he was above it all.
The height of his brain-clouding arrogance was Jack Johnson's incredibly stupid last few minutes before he and his wife were arrested. As the FBI descended on his home, his wife called him in a panic and this is the conversation that ensued:
"Don't answer it [the door]," Jack Johnson told his wife, according to the records. He told her to go to a bedroom drawer and grab a check from a developer--believed to be for $100,000, agents wrote. Leslie Johnson asked if she should get rid of cash that was in the drawer as well.
"Tear it up!" he said of the check. She asked about cash that was in the basement. "Put it in your bra and walk out or something...."
Mrs. Johnson must have gone from a 32B to a 38DD with almost $80,000 stuffed in her bra when she met the agents looking like Pamela Anderson. It really didn't matter, though, that she looked ridiculous. The FBI had it all on tape. They had been wiretapping Jack's cell phone since January of this year.
Now, one might think the county executive had no clue he was under suspicion. When others in his administration had been arrested and search warrants had been served in 2008 on the homes and offices of two of his top aides, ya think he would have had an inkling he was being watched. Heck, I was told over a year ago by folks in the know (that would be anyone on the Prince George's County police force who despises Johnson because of his strong anti-law enforcement attitude and any one of the employees of the county government) that he was going to go down.
He was so well known as a crook that when his office asked if Jack Johnson could come to my home to have a photo op with my pet pig (the famous Gwendolyn, who the county tried to send off to die after she had lived on my property for twenty years) I told them, "No, only one swine allowed on the property at a time."
Yet, Jack seemed to think he was above it all and kept right on wheeling and dealing. It apparently never occurred to him that his phones were tapped. Stupidity or arrogance? I would say arrogance.
Arrogant to the very end, Johnson vows to finish out the last three weeks of his term declaring he is innocent of any wrongdoing. His equally arrogant wife/partner-in-crime is planning to be sworn in on December 6 as one of our new council members.