(Cleveland) - Ward 4 Councilman Kenneth Johnson has been suspended from office while he is facing federal criminal charges.
After Johnson was indicted on charges that included collecting tens of thousands of dollars in phony expense reimbursements from Council, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor to appoint a special committee of three judges. Those retired judges said that since most of the charges against Johnson were directly related to his position in office, the rights and interests of the public would be adversely affected.
Johnson has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
A statement from City Council says Council respects the commission's decision. According to Council, the Cuyahoga County Probate Court will be asked to name a replacement for Johnson. Council says it will work with probate court to find a replacement for Johnson to fill the best interests of the people of Ward 4.
Johnson is one of the longest-serving members of Cleveland City Council, having been on council since 1980. If he is found not guilty of the charges against him, he can come back to his council seat.
(Photo courtesy Cleveland City Council)
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