City Council Has Removed Ken Johnson From His Precious Committee Chairmanship

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CLEVELAND SCENE VOL. 49, NO. 20, (11/14-20/2018).
  • Cleveland Scene Vol. 49, No. 20, (11/14-20/2018).

In the midst of marathon budget hearings, Cleveland City Council issued a statement from Council President Kevin Kelley Tuesday afternoon announcing that Ward 4 Councilman Ken Johnson, who was arrested Tuesday morning on federal corruption charges, will be removed as chairman of the municipal services and properties committee.

Ward 2 Councilman Kevin Bishop will step in as chair of the committee that oversees the city's department of parks and recreation.



Johnson has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 15 counts related to his misuse of public dollars. The bulk of the charges stem from fraudulent monthly expense reports that Johnson submitted for a decade straight. The councilman secured the maximum $1,200 monthly reimbursement for "ward services" that were never performed, according to the federal indictment.

Johnson has long been boastful of the Ward 4 recreation center that bears his name. In 2013, when he was campaigning to be re-instated on council immediately after resigning, in order to secure his pension and his council salary, (a legal maneuver known as double-dipping), Johnson testified that he was the only active member of council to have a rec center named after him.



Cleveland.com's Bob Higgs reported earlier Tuesday that if Johnson is forced to "resign in disgrace," he will not be permitted to appoint his own successor, one of council's time-honored non-democratic traditions.

Presumably, Johnson — whose activities were published in exhaustive detail in 2018 by former Cleveland.com columnist Mark Naymik and were known by every member of council — would have been permitted to do so if not for his arrest by federal authorities. 

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