U.S. District Judge Richard Haik will sentence former Assistant District Attorney J. Floyd Johnson Wednesday at 9 a.m., bringing an end to a federal probe first reported by The Independent Weekly in February 2010. Guilty of tax evasion, Johnson faces up to five years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and a mandatory minimum term of not less than two years and not more than three years supervised release following confinement. Legal experts consulted by this newspaper say he is likely to do time.
Johnson, then 50, pleaded guilty Nov. 10, 2010, to one count of tax evasion. In July of that year, while still a prosecutor with 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson’s office, he was charged in a bill of information with the single count and resigned from the DA’s office shortly thereafter. The disgraced prosecutor, who had been with the DA’s office for 15 years when he resigned in July, was making about $83,000 for the full-time position.
Johnson was charged with a single count despite that court records show he knowingly failed to file income tax returns for the years 2003-2008.
As part of his tax evasion scheme, Johnson concealed ownership of a home, lying to federal investigators about it. According to court documents, Johnson told investigators that his north Lafayette property at 206 Woodrich Lane, pictured below, belonged to his brother.
Because Johnson notified officials of his intention to plead guilty in a timely fashion, which allowed the government to avoid the expense of preparing for trial, he will get a “one-point reduction in his offense level should that offense level be 16 or greater,” according to the plea agreement filed in court.
The Louisiana Supreme Court issued an interim suspension of Johnson’s law license Dec. 10.
Close legal observers say the fact that he was an officer of the court charged with seeking punishment for those who broke the law — in particular the lead prosecutor in drug cases — does not bode well for him at sentencing. It is widely speculated that the investigation was not triggered by a tax matter related to the IRS but by law enforcement officials’ complaints about Johnson’s record on drug prosecutions, including drug cases he chose not to prosecute and his decisions to reduce charges.
As part of the presentence investigation, the government turned over all evidence developed in the case; presumably, that would include information on how and why the case was initiated.
Read more here.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
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Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
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Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
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Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.
With her political future in jeopardy, Sen. Mary Landrieu is turning to a natural constituent base in her re-election bid.
Terrance Broadway threw for a touchdown and rushed for 113 yards to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 34-10 victory over Texas State on Tuesday night.