After a 25 hour jury deliberation, a mistrial was been declared deciding the fate of a Philadelphia councilman, Kenyatta Johnson and his wife as they were not able to reach a verdict.
In January, Johnson, 46, and his wife Dawn Chavous, 40, were indicted on fraud charges in what officials called a “widespread corruption conspiracy.”
Federal authorities accused Kenyatta Johnson, who has been a councilman since 2012, for engaging in official actions in exchange for payments. Wife, Dawn Chavous is accused of entering into a “sham” consulting agreement with a nonprofit that was used to channel payments to her husband.
“We are gratified that some of the jurors appear to recognize the government did not introduce a single piece of hard evidence that either the Council-member or Ms. Chavous did something wrong,” a joint statement from Johnson’s attorney’s Patrick Egan and Barry Gross read.
They claimed that the 6-year investigation which included over 150 interviews and two million documents turned up no evidence of wrongdoings.
Before being indicted, Philadelphia councilman, Kenyatta Johnson released a statement saying, “First, let me be clear: I am innocent. I did nothing wrong. I am the victim of overzealous federal prosecutors who have spent the last five years looking for something to charge me with.”
Prosecutors outlined their case against including unsubstantiated accusations that he took more than $66,000 in bribes disguised as fees paid to his wife’s consulting company.
“First and foremost I just want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ, I want to thank all our family, friends, supporters for pray for us, showing us support during this very stressful time,” Johnson said.