Former Michigan Medical Cannabis Board Head Sentenced to Nearly 5 Years in Prison for Accepting Bribes
- Rick Johnson, former Michigan House speaker and head of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Board (MMB), has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for accepting bribes.
- Johnson admitted to accepting at least $110,000 in bribes from 2017 to 2019.
- Michigan businessman John Dalaly, who paid bribes to Johnson, was sentenced earlier this month to over two years in federal prison.
- Two lobbyists have also pleaded guilty in the scheme. Prosecutors had recommended a nearly six-year prison term for Johnson.
Rick Johnson, the former Michigan House speaker and head of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Board (MMB) was sentenced on Thursday to nearly five years in prison for accepting bribes while leading the MMB, the Associated Press reports. Johnson admitted he accepted at least $110,000 from 2017 to 2019.
Johnson served as Michigan’s House speaker from 2001 to 2004. During his sentencing, he told the judge he is “a corrupt politician.”
Others already sentenced in the scheme include Michigan businessman John Dalaly, who pleaded guilty to charges levied against him in April. Dalaya admitted to paying Johnson at least $68,200 in cash and other benefits, including two private flights to Canada, and hired Johnson’s wife, who helped him fill out forms that would end up in front of the state board, as a consultant for $4,000 a month. Dalaya was sentenced earlier this month to more than two years in federal prison.
Two lobbyists have also pled guilty in the scheme.
After Johnson’s hearing, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said the former lawmaker’s “brazen corruption tainted an emerging industry, squandered the public’s trust and scorned a democracy that depends on the rule of law.”
Prosecutors had recommended a nearly six-year prison term for Johnson.