Saturday, September 16, 2000

Court suspends convicted ex-senator's law license

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday suspended the law license of a former state senator convicted on federal extortion charges.

        The court announced the suspension of Jeffrey Johnson's law license pending an investigation by the court's disciplinary counsel.

        The investigation could result in penalties ranging from a public reprimand to disbarment.

        Mr. Johnson was convicted in November 1998 of violating the federal Hobbs Act, which prohibits public officials from using their office to extort money. A Cleveland grocer accused Mr. Johnson of pressuring him for campaign contributions and loans.

        In February 1999, U.S. District Judge Kathleen O'Malley sentenced Mr. Johnson to 15 months in prison, one year of probation and 250 hours of community service.

        Mr. Johnson could not be reached for comment. A message was left at his home in Cleveland and with his Cleveland attorney, Philip Kushner.


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