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State senator charged with conspiracy and theft

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State Senator Bert Johnson was indicted today by a federal grand jury.

The Highland Park senator is charged with conspiracy and theft. His home and Lansing office were raided by FBI and state police officers several weeks ago.

   Johnson is accused of borrowing thousands of dollars from an unnamed co-conspirator. That co-conspirator was then put on the public payroll as a member of his staff, but the co-conspirator did no actual work for Johnson.

   Acting United States Attorney Daniel Lemisch  said in a press release – quote – “Theft of taxpayer’s money by elected public officials, as these charges allege, is disheartening and will not be tolerated.”

   If convicted on both charges, Johnson could face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.