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Press Release

Jury Convicts Former Toledo City Councilman of Extortion

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

TOLEDO – Former Toledo City Councilman Garrick “Gary” Johnson, 61, was found guilty of Hobbs Act Extortion Under Color of Official Right by a jury after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Helmick. The jury acquitted Mr. Johnson of a similar count related to a different special use permit in the same Superseding Indictment.

According to court documents and testimony, a friend of a FBI source applied for a special use permit to open an internet café on Secor Road in Toledo, Ohio. The source then paid former Councilman Johnson $2,000 in return for his support of the special use permit. The special use permit ultimately failed to garner the required votes in City Council. “The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to make the prosecution of public corruption a priority,” said United States Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko. “Public officials who betray the trust of those they serve will be aggressively pursued and held accountable.”

“Investigating matters of Public Corruption is one of the highest priorities of the FBI,” said FBI Cleveland Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelsen. “Upholding public trust, especially as an elected official, is paramount. The FBI will continue to protect the American Public by ensuring the people who are elected to serve are virtuous in their conduct.”

No sentencing date has been set.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jody King and Gene Crawford.


Thomas P. Weldon
(216) 622-3651

Updated July 26, 2023

Public Corruption