Posted: Apr 26, 2012 3:00 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Apr 26, 2012 3:00 PM
BATON ROUGE - You could hear the sighs of relief, then the sobs from his family members as Judge Brian Jackson made his ruling: former Port Allen city councilman Johnny Johnson will spend only six months in a halfway house for his federal crimes.
Johnson plead guilty to taking $2,400 in Bayou Classic tickets from undercover FBI operatives. After his plea, Johnson helped investigators in their cases against six other public officials in "Operation Blighted Officials."
"It took only seven facebook tickets to tarnish my whole record, and for that I want to apologize," Johnson said to Jackson. "I am deeply sorry for the offense I have done."
Johnson said prayed and asked God for forgiveness.
Both Prosecutor Corey Amundson and Judge Brian Jackson praised Johnson for taking responsibility for his crimes.
"When caught, he owned up to it. He has never offered an excuse for it," Amundson told Jackson.
Amundson called Jackson's cooperation "unbridled," adding, "He didn't come along with minimalization or and 'I don't want to go there' mentality."
Jackson could have sentenced Johnson to a year in jail, but said he had never seen so many positive accounts on behalf of a corrupt public official.
Jackson said he also factored in Johnson's service in the Marine Corps in Vietnam in his sentence.
Additionally, Johnson will have two years' probation when he leaves the halfway house. He will also have to pay back $2,460 for the Bayou Classic tickets he took.
Former Port Allen Mayor Derek Lewis and Former St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace are the last two public officials to be sentenced.