The Lead

Former Pa. Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell tested positive for COVID-19 after being released early from prison

By: - April 21, 2020 1:20 pm

State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell speaks at a rally during Gun Violence Awareness Day on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

By The Philadelphia Tribune

PHILADELPHIA — Former state Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell tested positive for the coronavirus days after being released from Philadelphia county jail. She’s one of the hundreds of inmates not being tested before getting sent home early in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

She says the jail does temperature checks for inmates, but not any other testing. Johnson-Harrell tells news sources that she knew she had it because she had every other symptom for coronavirus but couldn’t prove it because she didn’t have a temperature.

Johnson-Harrell pleaded guilty in January to stealing $500,000 from a charity she founded to lead a lavish lifestyle.

Her original term was set to end in May.

Former Pa. Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell pleads guilty to stealing from nonprofit she ran, report

Johnson-Harrell spent the money she stole from Motivations Education & Consultation Associates (MECA) on vacations, designer clothing, luxury car payments, real estate purchases, past-due mortgage payments, and other personal expenses.

She pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, perjury, and misdemeanor charges of tampering with public records, and no contest to two misdemeanor charges.

Johnson-Harrell is a Democrat who represented the 190th House District, which covers much of West Philadelphia.

This story first appeared in the Philadelphia Tribune, a publishing partner of the Capital-Star. 

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