PHILADELPHIA - A former Pennsylvania state representative faces three months in the Philadelphia jail after pleading guilty to charges she took money from a charity she established for the needy and spent it on vacations, clothing and other personal needs.
Former Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell entered guilty and no contest pleas Thursday in Philadelphia. She won a special election in March for a West Philadelphia district, but resigned in December after being charged.
The 53-year-old Johnson-Harrell will also serve 8 1/2 months of house arrest and must repay the nonprofit. Her lawyer says she's taking responsibility "for some poor decisions she made over the past few years."
Court papers say the theft went on for years, as she converted the charity's funds into investment properties, vacations and luxury clothing. Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Johnson-Harrell personally spent more than $500,000 from Motivations Education & Consultation Associates, diverting Medicaid and Social Security disability funds.
While under house arrest, Johnson-Harrell will be allowed to leave home for work with verifiable hours, religious sevices every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and to take her granchildren to school from the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Johnson-Harrell is ordered to surrender on Feb. 6.
Associated Press contributed to this report
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