Former State Speaker, Marijuana Chair Accepted Bribes
In our ongoing and all too frequent mentions of politicians and corruption, at a press conference in Lansing last week, U.S. Attorney for the Western District Mark Totten announced that former Republican Speaker of the House Rick Johnson was charged with accepting bribes for taking more than $100,000 in cash payments and other benefits from multiple sources while chairing the state’s now-defunct medical marijuana licensing board.
Johnson was charged alongside three defendants: John Dalaly, a business owner charged with paying bribes; and Brian Pierce and Vincent Brown, lobbyists charged with conspiracy to commit bribery.
All four defendants signed plea deals admitting guilt to the charges.
Johnson was “at the heart of this corrupt scheme,” Totten said, outlining cash payments and other perks like private chartered flights through Dalaly’s companies.
Johnson served as a state representative from 1999 to 2004, including three years as House speaker. After leaving office, he ran a lobbying firm in Lansing, before serving as the chair of the Michigan marijuana licensing board from 2017 to 2019, according to court documents.
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