A Muslim state lawmaker in Pennsylvania — one who made headlines earlier this year after she called a colleague’s Christian prayer “Islamophobic” — has been charged for allegedly stealing half a million dollars.
State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (D) has been charged with multiple counts of theft, perjury, and tampering, according to a statement released by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, The Hill reported.
“When corruption erodes the trust that is built between governmental entities and citizens, no one wins,” said Shapiro. “I’ve said time and time again as Attorney General that no one is above the law, no matter their position of power. And today is no different.”
In March, Johnson-Harrell was in the news after she aired her grievances when one of her Christian colleagues, state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R), led the House chamber in prayer before the Muslim lawmaker was sworn in.
“I thought it was blatantly Islamophobic, Xenophobic, and discriminatory,” Johnson-Harrell said of Borowicz’s invocation.
Likewise, state Rep. Jordan Harris (D) accused Borowicz of “weaponizing the name of Jesus” to attack the newly sworn-in politician.
What are the details?
Shapiro explained in his statement that Johnson-Harrell’s theft “knew no bounds,” noting the lawmaker turned herself in, confessed to her numerous alleged crimes, and agreed to resign her post in the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Johnson-Harrell is believed to have pilfered money from Motivations Education and Consultation Associates, a charity with the goal of raising money to support homeless people, senior citizens, and children. She allegedly spent the stolen cash on “vacations, designer clothing, luxury car payments, real estate purchases, past-due mortgage payments, and other personal expenses.”
Even though she confessed to some of the crimes, though, Johnson-Harrell released a statement of her own, in which she denied some of the charges filed against her.
“I am saddened and dismayed by the nature of the allegations brought against me today,” she said, adding, “I vigorously dispute many of these allegations, which generally pertain to before I took office, and I intend to accept responsibility for any actions that were inappropriate.”