Detroit Today: Former Michigan House Speaker admits to bribery during time as board chair

Last week, former Michigan House Speaker turned cannabis regulator Rick Johnson was one of four individuals to reach a plea agreement with federal officials on corruption charges. He admitted to accepting more than $100,000 in bribes while chairing Michigan’s now-defunct medical marijuana licensing board.

The four men will cooperate with federal officials in the ongoing investigation as part of the agreement.

Bridge Michigan’s Lauren Gibbons joined Detroit Today to discuss what happened and why it has some concerned about government oversight in Michigan.

“The corruption that we’re seeing as part of this investigation has ultimately impacted the state’s the state’s marijuana industry as a whole.” — Lauren Gibbons, reporter


Listen: What Rick Johnson’s bribery admission says about Michigan’s disclosure rules.



Guest

Lauren Gibbons is a reporter covering Michigan politics for Bridge Michigan. She says the delays associated with marijuana board’s licensing impacted many businesses.

“It certainly casts a pall over the entire process, if the chair of the board was giving preferential treatment to certain companies and allowing that process to be corrupted,” says Gibbons. “The corruption that we’re seeing as part of this investigation has ultimately impacted the state’s marijuana industry as a whole.”

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