Former employee pleads no contests, receives deferred sentence

Saturday, August 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A man who prosecutors called a ghost employee at the Health Department has been sentenced to five years probation and will pay 12-thousand dollars in restitution.

Vernon Ray Johnson was sentenced yesterday and will pay his fines by the end of next week.

He entered a no contest plea to a felony charge of obtaining money by false pretense and four misdemeanor counts of obtaining money by false pretense after making deal with prosecutors.

Johnson's case is one of the last cases pending from the scandal at the Health Department. Fourteen former state employees and two-nursing home owners were indicted during investigation by state and federal grand juries.

Johnson was accused of being on the state payroll, but doing little or no work.

Johnson was fired in June 2000. A state grand jury later accused him of illegally collecting 68-thousand-939 dollars in state pay and 12-thousand-863 dollars from state travel claims.