Another day another crooked politician goes down the drain. In this case, it is Movita Johnson-Harrell, the first female member of the Pennsylvania state house was indicted with looting her nonprofit meant to help the underprivileged for personal gain.
She stole over $500,000 and spent the cash on lavish vacations and a Porsche.
“While I dispute many of the allegations lodged against me, I accept responsibility for some missteps made before I became an elected official,” Johnson-Harrell wrote in a letter to Speaker Mike Turzai.
“I am choosing to resign to protect my district, to allow for an orderly election for my successor, and to focus on my defense to these allegations.”
She quickly changed her tune and as of today will plead guilty and will try to work a deal with the prosecutors to limit her prison time. But she spend time in jail the prosecutor has made clear.
The Daily Beast also reported that the Pennsylvania state representative has been charged with stealing over $500,000 from a nonprofit she founded to pay for her vacations, online shopping sprees, and a Porsche, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Democrat Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell representing a West Philadelphia district, was charged with several counts—including theft, perjury, and tampering with public records—for allegedly stealing money from Motivations Education and Consultation (MECA) by diverting money meant for Medicare and Social Security disability funds, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office said.
“When corruption erodes the trust that is built between governmental entities and citizens, no one wins,” Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro said in a press release. “I’ve said time and time again as Attorney General that no one is above the law, no matter their position of power. And today is no different.”
Johnson-Harrell who became the first female Muslim member of the state House after winning a special election in March, turned herself in to Philadelphia police on Wednesday and agreed to plead guilty to the charges, Shapiro said. She also has agreed to resign from her political post.
“She has agreed to take responsibility for her crimes and will plead guilty to her charges,” Shapiro said in a Wednesday press conference.
PA Attorney General: “Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced theft, perjury, tampering and other charges today against Philadelphia Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell following an investigation into her operation of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those who suffered with chronic mental illness, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse disorders, the homeless, seniors, and children.”
“Representative Johnson-Harrell continuously diverted Medicaid and social security disability funds from her charity to help Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities for her own personal use. She spent almost $15,000 on clothing, including online shopping sprees at Ralph Lauren and fox fur coats. She traveled to Mexico, Orlando, Georgia and Maryland on lavish trips costing $16,000 of MECA funds,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “She spent $2,000 on overdue car payments on her Porsche. Another $4,000 on tuition for a relative. And, she spent almost $20,000 on overdue mortgage payments.”