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Prince George's County Executive, wife, charged in Federal Case

Brian Witte | 11/12/2010, 5:44 p.m.
Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and wife Lesllie Johnson appear together...


Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and wife
Lesllie Johnson appear together at a recent campaign
celebration. Photo By Maurice Fitzgerald.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) Federal authorities arrested outgoing Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, who was recently elected to the county council, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland said Friday.

Marcy Murphy, a U.S. attorney's spokeswoman, confirmed the arrests to The Associated Press in a telephone interview. She did not know yet what either had been charged with.

Jim Karey, a spokesman for Johnson, said federal authorities executed search warrants Friday at the county administration building.

"Since that time, county government has been cooperating fully,'' Karey said. "We're not aware of the nature of the investigation or allegations.''

Johnson, 61, has been county executive since 2002. The Democrat was the county state's attorney for eight years before that.

His wife, Leslie Johnson, described in county press releases as the "first lady'' of Prince George's County, was elected earlier this month as a Democrat to the county council but has not yet been sworn in.

Karey defended Johnson's record, calling him "a good man'' and "if not the greatest, then one of the greatest local politicians in the area.''

"He's brought a lot of development and jobs here,'' Karey added.

County council spokeswoman Karen Campbell said there had been no searches in the council offices.

Associated Press writer Sarah Brumfield in Upper Marlboro, Md.,contributed to this story.