According to a plea deal submitted in federal court, the former chair of Michigan’s medical cannabis licensing panel and the former speaker of the state House acknowledged accepting a whopping amount of $100,000 in bribes for assisting firms in obtaining medical cannabis licenses. As per, the agreement, 70-year-old Rick Johnson consented to admit guilt to the crime allegation of taking a bribe and acknowledged acting “corruptly.”
Nick Dondzila, Michigan speaker Johnson’s lawyer, has been contacted for a comment. However, nothing has been heard yet.
According to public records, Michigan House Speaker Johnson, who is a Republican, presided over the licensing panel from 2016 to around 2019. He previously also served as a speaker of the House from approximately 2001-2004.
Future Of Michigan Chairman of Licensing Panel
Based on the US Attorney’s office, Johnson along with three other people who were allegedly charged in connection with the file have consented to assist the US Attorney’s office as well as the FBI in their investigation. As per, a news release from US Attorney Mark Totten for Michigan, corruption is venomous to any form of democracy. He stated that people in power have a pure duty toward the people they stand on behalf of, which is to uphold their interests. However, upon accepting an incentive, they forego their solemn responsibility for the well-connected the dishonest, and eventually, themselves.
According to the plea agreement, Johnson will be sentenced to at least ten years in jail, pay a $250,000 fine, as well as pay back the $100,200 in benefits and cash he received. Based on the plea deal, the US attorney’s office may submit a move to lessen Johnson’s sentence if he completely cooperates.