Former Public Employee and Denham Springs Business Owner Indicted for Conspiracy, Use of Interstate Facility in Aid of Racketeering, and Making False Statement
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 18, 2013|
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Glenn Kelly Johnson, age 71, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, with conspiracy to use interstate facilities to carry on a bribery scheme, four counts of actually using telephones to promote his bribery scheme, and one count of making false statements to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was investigating the scheme to bribe an employee of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371, 1952(a)(3), and 1001(a)(2).
Also indicted was Alan Forrest Pogue, a former employee of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Center for Environmental Services, Onsite Wastewater Program (OWP). Pogue, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, age 52, was charged with one count of conspiracy to use interstate facilities to carry on a bribery scheme with Johnson. During the period 2008 through 2011, Pogue was employed as a sanitation program coordinator (sanitarian) for the OWP, and his duties included inspection of residential and commercial septic tank systems. Johnson was a Denham Springs, Louisiana licensed installer of individual sewage treatment systems (also known as septic tanks) during the period 2008 through 2011. Johnson operated a Denham Springs business known as Stafford Concrete.
According to the indictment, Pogue supplied Johnson with OWP lists of names of Louisiana citizens who were applying for permits to install individual sewage treatment systems. In return, Johnson made cash payments to Pogue. Pogue and Johnson used their office and personal cellular telephones to contact each other in order to arrange meetings where they could exchange septic tank applicant information for cash. Beginning sometime in or about May 2009, and continuing through June 2011, Pogue and Johnson met on a bi-weekly basis, approximately 100 times, for the purpose of exchanging septic tank applicant information for cash. According to the indictment, Johnson paid Pogue approximately $50,000 during the period May 2009 through June 2011.
If convicted, Johnson and Pogue face up to five years’ imprisonment for count one, conspiracy to use interstate facilities to promote a bribery scheme. Johnson also faces five years’ imprisonment for the conduct alleged in counts two through five, unlawful use of telephones; and another five years for count six, making false statements to an FBI agent. Pogue faces a total of five years’ imprisonment, and Johnson faces a total of 30 years’ imprisonment. Each defendant faces a fine up to $250,000 for each count on which they may be convicted and forfeiture of all property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offenses charged as counts one through five of the indictment, including but not limited to, at least $50,000, said amount being the proceeds obtained through bribery.
United States Attorney Cazayoux stated, “We will continue to be vigilant, along with our law enforcement partners, such as the FBI and Louisiana Inspector General in this case, for public corruption at any level of government. We cannot, and will not, tolerate situations, such as here, where a businessman seeks to gain an unfair advantage in the marketplace by bribing low-level public employees.”
Louisiana State Inspector General Stephen Street commented, “Rooting out corruption of this sort is the very reason OIG was created. Public officials taking bribes is absolutely intolerable. We will continue to relentlessly pursue those who abuse the public trust and hold them criminally accountable wherever possible. As always, we appreciate and value our partnership with Mr. Cazayoux and his staff.”
“Although public corruption in any context has no acceptable threshold, these acts affecting the environment and public health are particularly repugnant to the citizenry,” said Michael Anderson, FBI Special Agent in Charge.
The investigation of this matter was conducted by the Baton Rouge Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Louisiana Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rene I. Salomon.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.