“Because Melvin T. Johnson has failed to adequately respond to the state Bar’s Notice of Investigation and the maximum sanction for the violations contained in the notice in disbarment, pursuant to State Bar Rule 4-204.3 (d), it is ordered that Melvin T. Johnson be suspended from the practice of law in Georgia until further order of this court”, State of Georgia Bar
Monrovia - After almost two years of silence, raising doubts amongst many Liberians that there wouldn’t be any positive results coming out of the Liberia Airport saga, on Tuesday the government announced that it has succeeded in having the state of Georgia suspend an accomplice of Madam Ellen Corkrum, Melvin Johnson.
Johnson is the boyfriend of the former LAA Managing Director Ellen Corkrum, both of whom, along with Musa Bility, John Davis of LBDI [later squashed from the case], the President of the First International Bank were indicted by a grand jury in Montserrado County in July 2013, on three counts alleging that they violated the public trust by wrongfully diverting public money and other properties to themselves and their friends.
Liberia’s solicitor General Betty Larmie-Blamo said the suspension of Johnson’s license is from a petition filed before the State Bar of Georgia against Judge by the Government of Liberia. “The government of Liberia is informed that its petition filed before the State Bar of Georgia against Mr. Melvin Johnson has resulted in the suspension of Mr. Johnson’s license to practice law,” Cllr. Blamo said.
In a document in the possession of FrontPageAfrica it is stated that On March 31 2015, the Honorable Supreme Court met pursuant to adjournment and the order was passed in the matter of Melvin T. Johnson state Bar No.395044. The court record stated “Because Melvin T. Johnson has failed to adequately respond to the state Bar’s Notice of Investigation and the maximum sanction for the violations contained in the notice in disbarment, pursuant to State Bar Rule 4-204.3 (d), it is ordered that Melvin T. Johnson be suspended from the practice of law in Georgia until further order of this court.”
Cllr. Blamo said, the government has presented an extradition request to the United States Embassy in Monrovia for both individuals. “The request remains pending before the U.S Department of Justice.” The Solicitor General said the government complains that Johnson violated prohibitions against dishonest, fraudulent and deceitful conducts as well as misrepresentation and that he made an untrue statement to persons other than his clients.
“While in the country [Liberia] he misrepresented his status as a Liberian lawyer, he has never been a member of the Liberian Bar and that he violated privacy laws by taping with government officials without their knowledge or consent,” Solicitor General added. Cllr. Blamo said, Johnson has failed to respond “meaningfully, specifically and substantially” to the accusations leading to the suspension of his license to practice law in the State of Georgia.
“In issuing the suspension of his license to practice law in Georgia, the state Supreme Court noted that maximum sanction for the violations with which Johnson is charged is permanent disbarment,” Blamo said. Cllr. Blamo continued: “The court has therefore directed that this suspension remains in effect until further order of the court.”
It was reported in 2014 that Johnson lost his position as a municipal Court Judge in Lithonia, Georgia for training deficiencies. In an effort to extradite Melvin Johnson back to Liberia the government hired an American lawyer to pursue the case. Responding to the government hiring of the American lawyer Johnson said, after failed attempt by the government in getting them [Ellen and Melvin] back to Liberia adding that it is about to waste the Liberian people money by hiring an American Lawyer.
“I was greeted with the news that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf personally called and hired a lawyer to “report me to my job.” For the foregoing and including the reports that the President has committed to paying this individual a total of US$500,000.00 when over 90% of our people live on less than $1usd per day, Liberia has fallen to an all-time low!” Johnson declared in 2014.
Johnson continued: “Reports reaching me from Liberia suggests that this “high power” lawyer and “prestigious” law firm in Washington, DC (Fox Rothschild Address: 1030 15th St NW # 380E, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 461-3100) is taking US$500,000.00 from the second poorest country in the world to report one of its sons to his job.”
Johnson added that during a “mock-interview,” the Minister of Information (for the entire nation) is heard snickering and gloating over the idea that the poor people of Liberia are reportedly paying this individual $500,000.00 to personally attack me.
“Why is the entire GOL attacking me? Simply because I chose to be the Sacrificial Lamb for my people. Simply because Liberians during this dispensation need true men and women to stand up against corruption, waste, cronyism and plundering,” Johnson said.
Johnson said, over a year the GOL is silent of the whereabouts or the outcome of that “Team,” but adding that he is learning based on the admission by the hired lawyer that the GOL paid him since last year December 2013, to work on and conclude the extradition.
“If the GOL truly has evidence, why is it necessary to hire two extradition teams? The extradition process is one based on evidence handed over, not based on who presents or lobbies for the evidence. If the GOL does have evidence, even a child representing the GOL can physically hand over such evidence and it will be enough for the U.S. Government,” Jonson said.
Many critics are blaming President Sirleaf for paying lip service to the fight against corruption, in an attempt to prove critics wrong, recently the government indicted several individuals recommended by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission for prosecution.
The pronouncement made by the government is viewed by critics as an attempt to pretend to the public that it is serious in the fight against corruption. Critics argue that government is reneging on prosecuting individuals that in Liberia but are rather fighting a battle that may could not probably succeed. But the solicitor General maintained, that the government will continue to pursue the case involving Johnson and all other abuses of the public trust.