by Ken Davidson
Amid reports of uncharacteristic confidence on the part of the Defendant, the sentencing of David Johnson of A-1 Dave’s Tree Service has been continued again. The official reason given was “a dispute of guideline applications in this matter.” Sources familiar with the process continue to stress that this is an unusual number of delays in the matter. Such delays usually indicate cooperation with the Government-not good news for Lake County Democrats. The Motion indicates that Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell had no objection to the continuance. The hearing will be held on February 6, 2014 absent any further delay.
Johnson pled guilty to bribery involving federal programs in October 25, 2012. Co-Defendant Alfonso Salinas subseqently pled guilty on May 13, 2013. Salinas was sentenced on August 13 and reported to the Bureau of Prisons on October 1 to serve his 42 month sentence.
Johnson previously had been sued for racketeering by the Attorney General of Indiana in the “Sidewalks for Votes” scheme in East Chicago. Despite the fact that he settled that case, Dave’s Tree Service continued to receive local government contracts. This was particularly the case in Hammond where Johnson was the preferred contractor for tree services. Dave’s Tree still does work in the City of Hammond but it is not clear at this time if any of those jobs are a result of City contracts.