Ex-superintendent deserves prison stint
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, February 11, 2013
2/11/13 at 8:18 AM
A federal judge has sentenced Gary Johnson, former superintendent of Skiatook Public Schools, to a year in prison for filing false federal income tax returns and accepting bribes. The convictions grew out of Johnson's participation in a scheme with a vendor that netted the administrator hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While it's not always appropriate for white-collar criminals to serve time, in this case, the punishment fits the crime. As U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan observed during sentencing, Johnson's actions amounted to an "egregious violation of public trust."
Johnson and co-defendant Rick Enos, the vendor, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiring to "defraud the United States and to corruptly solicit, accept, give and offer things of value."
Johnson earlier had pleaded guilty in Tulsa County District Court to four counts of accepting cash bribes, and was sentenced to 15 years' probation and ordered to pay $236,591 in restitution. Enos also pleaded guilty in state court to offering bribes and has been sentenced to 10 years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $420,606.
The arrangement was detailed in a state audit that found the school district paid Enos $570,000 more than necessary for custodial supplies and security equipment.
Local residents and school patrons were instrumental in impaneling a Tulsa County grand jury that indicted Johnson on embezzlement and bribery charges.
Johnson will not be required to pay restitution while he is in prison, which should be about 10 months. He will be on three years of court supervision after his release.
Johnson apologized at the sentencing, and his attorney later described him as "a good man who lost his way." We trust he'll be able to find his way around a federal prison.
Original Print Headline: Justice served