Kenneth Johnson Wiki – Kenneth Johnson Bio
According to court documents, 74-year-old Cleveland City Councilor Kenneth Johnson has been accused by a federal grand jury of conspiracy to commit federal program theft, along with longtime deputy Garnell Jamison and former head of Buckeye Shaker Development Company John Hopkins.
“These individuals are accused of developing and implementing plans to defraud hard-working American federal taxpayers,” said Eric B. Smith, the FBI Special Envoy. “Citizens should be confident that their elected representatives are ethical and lawful, and that they do not enrich themselves through corruption and deception. The FBI will continue to root out fraudsters who pose as government officials and hold them accountable. ”
Kenneth Johnson Background – Career
Garnell Jamison, Johnson’s longtime assistant, was charged with the same charges. John Hopkins, who also served as the executive director of Buckeye-Shaker Square Development Corp. in Johnson’s ward, was accused of conspiring to steal from a federal program.
Board members were stunned to learn of the scope of the charges. Johnson stays on the panel only as he is charged with charges. If found guilty, he will lose the seat.
Mayor Kevin Kelley, who has been at budget meetings for most of the day, said, “The most important thing now is that Ward 4 residents get all the appropriate representation and appropriate services from their city.”
Kenneth Johnson Arrest & Charge
Garnell Jamison, Johnson’s longtime assistant, was charged with the same charges. In addition, John Hopkins, who served as executive director of Buckeye-Shaker Square Development Corp. in Johnson’s ward, was accused of conspiring to steal from a federal program.
Hours after their arrest, the three men claimed they were not guilty of the allegations before US District Judge John Adams. They were released in personal bonds.
The indictment stems from the FBI investigation against 74-year-old Johnson, one of the longest-serving members of Cleveland City Council. He was first chosen in 1980.
The indictment alleges that most of the charges stemmed from Johnson seeking a maximum monthly reimbursement of $ 1,200 from the Council for services that were never fulfilled.
Earlier this month, Robert Fitzpatrick, Johnson’s longtime friend, was convicted of conspiring to steal from a federal program that included Johnson’s work as Ward 4 representative.
Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer started reporting on Johnson’s refund issues in 2018. Reports said Johnson had sent monthly forms to Council’s office for several years. He searched for the maximum amount each time and added the information that long-time urban recreation worker Fitzpatrick was performing unspecified services for the ward.
The charges against Johnson and Fitzpatrick reflect these reports. The documents show that, from January 2010 to October 2018, Fitzpatrick’s fake timesheets were attached to each of the expenditure forms he submitted to the Council for reimbursement.
According to the allegations against Fitzpatrick, “as he knows very well, he signed timesheets confirming that he actually performed ward services when he did not complete any ward services.”
Prosecutors said in the documents that 61-year-old Johnson and Jamison from Cleveland had approached Fitzpatrick more than 10 years ago and asked if Johnson would be willing to assist in his ward.
The work required mowing lawns, controlling abandoned property, helping clear snow, and looking for homes that could be renovated and sold for profit. Fitzpatrick did the job for about six weeks, but was never paid according to court documents.
According to the indictment, Jamison continued to hand over timelines to Fitzpatrick to sign, even though Fitzpatrick did not do any work. Jamison collected the timelines according to the documents and handed them over to Johnson. Records show that Johnson also included receipts showing that he paid Fitzpatrick cash.
The indictment says that Johnson received $ 127,200 repayment checks from the City Council and deposited them in his bank account. The filing said the purpose of the conspiracy was to “enrich Johnson and the others,” but it is unclear whether Fitzpatrick or anyone else received any money from the plan.
Catherine Turcer, managing director of Common Cause Ohio, said the allegations were painful for the city.
“Corruption has a real price,” Turcer said. “There is a real cost for taxpayers. When money is spent incorrectly, it needs more transparency and more accountability so that it does not happen again. None of what I’m saying is rocket science. It’s been said over and over again. We all know what to do. Just the political will to do that. we need. ”
The allegations also include 57-year-old Johnson and Hopkins of Cleveland Heights, Buckeye-Shaker Square Development Corp. of diverting thousands of dollars in federal block grant money, which is given to three individuals, one of whom is Johnson’s child. Johnson is the court-appointed guardian for others on charges.
The indictment states that Johnson and Hopkins have forged documents, including their timelines, allowing the three of them to obtain funds they were not entitled to. According to wages, apparently, three people were paid from December 2013 to March 2018 for landscaping and maintenance work.
According to the indictment, the funds were later transferred or credited to accounts held by Johnson. Federal law and the city’s conflict of interest standards prevent employees or family members from benefiting from block grant funds.
Attempts to reach out to Johnson’s attorney Myron Watson failed. Jamison’s lawyer, Regis McGann, refused to comment, as did Edward Bryan representing Hopkins.