Former Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson going to prison for defrauding Department of Education
10:51 AM, Feb 7, 2013
10:10 PM, Feb 7, 2013
TULSA - A former Green Country superintendent was sentenced Thursday for defrauding the government.
Former Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Upon his release, Johnson will serve three years on probation.
From May 2004 to July 2010, federal prosecutors say Johnson and businessman Rick Enos were making money by inflating prices on supplies, then concealing their kickbacks by over-billing the school district.
Johnson pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for soliciting and accepting bribes and filing false tax returns.
Both men previously pleaded guilty to state charges and a judge ordered them to pay $657,197.21 in restitution.
In court Thursday, Johnson tearfully apologized to the judge and the school district. He was facing up to 15 years in prison.
In addition to the prison sentence, Johnson must pay $207,590.01 in fines.
Skiatook resident Windsor Ridenour says feelings toward Johnson quickly turned sour during the investigation.
"Everybody though he was a real nice, honest person. And we were all wrong," Ridenour said.
Ridenour helped start a petition that eventually took Johnson and Enos to court-- first at the district level.
"It's not going to do much good to kick him again. But he needs to realize what he's done to this community," he said.
Ridenour says the school district is still recovering.
"We're not hurt so bad that we're going to shut the doors because of it, but he did hurt the school. I mean there's a lot of things the school could have done with that money," Ridenour said.