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Ex-Michigan lawmaker gets jail for ghost employee scheme

September 6, 2018

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan lawmaker accused of putting a no-show employee on the public payroll has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days of home confinement.

Bert Johnson, a Democrat from Highland Park, was hoping to stay free, but federal Judge Matthew Leitman sent him to jail.

Johnson pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to steal money and immediately resigned from the state Senate. Authorities say Glynis Thornton did no work for Johnson but collected $23,000. She had lent him money.

Johnson apologized for hiring Thornton. Prosecutors had sought up to a year in prison for what they called an “egregious act of corruption.”

The judge says he’s impressed with how Johnson has mentored others. Leitman also told Johnson that he believes he’s learned a lesson.

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