Cleveland council member convicted of theft, tax charges


AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A jury in Akron on Friday convicted a longtime Cleveland City Council member on numerous federal charges that included stealing $127,000 in expenses from the city over nearly a nine-year period.

The jury deliberated around four hours before returning its verdicts against Kenneth Johnson, 75, reported.

Johnson stands convicted on 15 counts that include conspiracy to commit federal program theft, tampering with a witness, falsification of records, federal program theft and aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.

His longtime assistant, Garnell Jamison, 63, was convicted of 11 counts.

Johnson could receive 10 years in prison at sentencing in October.

Johnson testified on Wednesday the expense reimbursement reports were accurate and that he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars helping his constituents during his 40 years on the council.

Johnson and Jamison were accused of having a Cleveland recreation employee falsely sign timesheets that led to Johnson being reimbursed $1,200 a month in expenses for nearly nine years. The employee pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit theft.

He also was accused of stealing $50,000 in federal money through payments made to his son and and two people for whom he served as a court-appointed guardian.

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