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Press Release

Former Toledo City Council Member Sentenced for Extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

TOLEDO - U.S. Attorney Becky Lutzko announced that Garrick “Gary” Johnson, a former Toledo City Council member, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick to 4 months. A jury previously found Johnson guilty of Hobbs Act Extortion Under Color of Official Right.

According to court documents and testimony, an FBI source paid then-Councilman Johnson $2,000 in return for his vote on a special use permit to open an internet café on Secor Road in Toledo, Ohio. Although Johnson voted in favor of it, the special use permit ultimately failed to garner the required votes.

“Councilman Johnson chose to betray those he was elected to serve by accepting a bribe, blatantly violating his oath and the public’s trust, as a result, the entire Toledo community suffered,” said United States Attorney, Becky Lutzko. “This investigation and prosecution reflects the commitment of the U.S. Attorney's Office to aggressively prosecute individuals engaged in public corruption”. “Finding and investigating public corruption is one of the FBIs highest priorities,” said FBI Cleveland Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelsen. “Elected officials are entrusted to make virtuous decisions to the betterment of all. Sadly, Gary Johnson chose a path of criminal conduct and greed over the wellbeing of those he served. We will continue to work on behalf of the American Public to ensure the conduct by elected officials is right and just.”

This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of the FBI, Toledo Resident Agency. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Crawford.

Contact

Thomas P. Weldon
Thomas.Weldon@usdoj.gov
(216) 622-3651

Updated January 25, 2024

Topic
Public Corruption