Wilfred Gortor, Liberia News Agency, Monrovia, Liberia, – The Georgia State Bar in the United States has suspended the license to practice law of Mr. Melvin Johnson, an official of government has disclosed.
Johnson was the companion and partner of Ms. Ellen Corkrum, former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority between September 2012 and January 2013.
The suspension of Johnson’s license was the result of a petition filed before the State Bar of Georgia by the Government of Liberia after an indictment by a Special Grand Jury in Montserrado County in July 2013 of both Johnson and Corkrum for acts of corruption, among other things.
Presenting a special statement at the Ministry of Information daily press briefing in Monrovia on Monday, Solicitor General Cllr. Betty Blamo said both Corkrum and Johnson were indicted in 2013 on three counts alleging that they violated the public trust by wrongfully diverting public money and other properties to themselves and their friends.
Cllr. Blamo said that the government presented an extradition request to the U.S Embassy in Monrovia for both individuals, but noted that the request remains pending before the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to her, the government counsel also submitted a grievance to the Georgia Bar contending that Johnson had violated several of the rules of professional conduct that are binding on lawyers who practice in the State.
She noted that the government also charged that Johnson conspired with Corkrum to divert some US$60,000 of the Liberian people’s money to the trust account of his law firm in Georgia, and that while in the country he misrepresented his status as a Liberian lawyer, among other things.
Meanwhile, the Solicitor General noted that in issuing the suspension of his license to practice law in Georgia, the state Supreme Court noted that the maximum sanction for the violations of which Johnson is charged is permanent disbarment.
“Johnson, who lost his position as a Municipal Court Judge in Lithonia, Georgia, in early 2014 for training deficiencies, is now barred from private practice as well,” Cllr. Blamo said.