Leslie Johnson’s Open Season (Demo)

I want to extricate Leslie Johnson from this mess and say it was all Jack’s fault.  Remove her, let the smoke clear, and place her upon a martyr’s pedestal the way we did Effie Barry, Jenny Sanford, and Hilary Clinton when their husbands were caught being unfaithful to those they vowed to serve.

But then there’s this line from her November 12th phone conversation with Jack Johnson, “…Do you have the cash down in the basement still too?”  That “clunk” that just sounded was the portrait of a caring mother, administrative law judge, AKA sorority member, and soon to be former council woman unceremoniously falling from its hinges onto a dirty floor.
Leslie Johnson’s days on PGCo’s Council are currently numbered; her resignation takes effect July 31st.  In a statement submitted after pleading guilty to federal obstruction of justice and evidence tampering charges, Leslie says that the July 31st resignation date “My resignation is important for constituents of District 6 so the district can be in the best possible position to continue to move forward. I again apologize for my mistake.”  Do you really think that ANY constituents in PGCo think that you have their best interest at heart anymore Leslie Johnson?  I question your motivation for even showing up to Council meetings when you have no power to accomplish anything for District 6 residents.  Leslie Johnson’s name is on the emergency legislation passed by the Council to stem the tide of violence associated with PGCo’s night club scene and I chuckled a kind of “come on now, be real” laugh. It’s beyond time for you to accept consequences publicly and remove yourself from the political landscape.
I have traditional views on the roles of men and women for which I make no apology.  Yes I believe in women’s suffrage, equal rights, Title IX, et. al. but I also believe women are endowed as nurturers and tend to be more reflective in their decision making, especially as it pertains to how their decisions will affect the family.  So I’m stumped.   How could a mother of three, founder of women’s self-help organizations, and former administrative law judge take part in a scheme to defraud and debase the Johnson family and Prince George’s County?  It’s a question I want Leslie to reflect on, pray about, and to which she should respond, even if only to herself.  I don’t discount Jack’s role in any of this but there is something about Leslie that I identify with as a woman that causes me root for her redemption.  I’m biased. So what.
 While serving as Prince George’s County First Lady, Leslie Johnson was a guest panelist for the Greater Washington Women’s Network.  Her presentation focused on the seasons of her life: mother, career woman, and First Lady of PGCo.  “I believe that you must work to make a positive difference in your community. I believe that you must touch people wherever they may be, find out what their needs are and strive to help them.”  I believe these things too Leslie Johnson so I’m not going to go for your jugular as satirical sport because it’s counter productive.  Consider this a call into accountability. 
Some fateful Tuesday, 45 to 60 days after the first week in August, there will be a special primary election held for the District 6 Council seat.  On this day, there will be indignation that we all have to come out and vote again because of what you termed “my  mistake.”  There will be skepticism about those running for the District 6 Council seat.  There will be sweeping generalizations about Black politicians, female politicians, PGCo’s ability to self govern, and the gullibility of the citizens of PGCo.  All these things can be attributed to your “mistake” and are now part of your history and legacy.  I don’t know where you begin to change this but there are models.  President Jimmy Carter’s term started off with great promise; he was to be the anti-Nixon/Agnew.  But then he crashed and burned with an recession and hostage crisis.  Today his legacy is that of a human rights giant. 
It’s not too late for you to change this Leslie Johnson because you’re still alive.  Take some time.  Swallow the bitter pill of responsibility for this mess and come clean.  Tell the truth and tell it fast is a public relations mantra.  You still have time to do the first part: tell the truth.  I don’t know if your marriage will survive or what your family currently thinks of you but the truth is the first step to your redemption and quite possibly, to the changing of your season and cycle. 

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