Hinds County Election Commissioner Toni Johnson has pled guilty to two counts of embezzlement by a public official and one count of making false representations to defraud the government.
In November, Johnson was indicted on felony charges for using her position to pay Cedric Cornelius’ company, Apogee Group, for work that wasn’t done with government money.
According to Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens, Johnson is sentenced to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) with 15 years suspended and will serve five years in MDOC’s Intensive Supervised Probation followed by five years of post-release supervision.
The Election Commissioner has also been ordered to pay $24,216 in restitution over the course of her probationary period.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraud in my office,” State Auditor Shad White said. “I am thankful for the investigators on my team who built this case and the prosecutors who decided to bring charges and successfully brought Ms. Johnson to justice.”
Johnson, who represented District 2, chaired the Hinds County Election Commission in 2020 and 2021. She resigned from her chairperson role following the investigation into suspected fraud.