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.
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.