GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A lobbyist pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to pass bribes to the head of a Michigan marijuana licensing board, the third conviction since charges were announced just a few weeks ago.
Vincent Brown acknowledged that he had a role in getting $42,000 and other benefits to Rick Johnson before the board was disbanded in 2019.
Brown’s goal was to drum up business for his lobbying firm by promoting his access to Johnson. The board reviewed and approved applications to grow and sell marijuana for medical purposes.
Johnson pleaded guilty to bribery Tuesday, admitting he accepted at least $110,000 in exchange for approving applications for lucrative licenses. Years ago he was a powerful state lawmaker, serving as speaker of the Republican-controlled House from 2001 through 2004.