Former HMB Police Officer Takes Plea Deal for Embezzlement

Askia Mohammed Johnson was charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the department's officers' association over a two-year period.

A former Half Moon Bay police officer charged with embezzling thousands of dollars from the department's officers' association over a two-year period pleaded no contest Wednesday to accusations that he stole money while serving as board president.

The defendant, Askia “A.J.” Johnson, 40, agreed to a plea deal for one count of felony embezzlement on the condition that he receives no prison time. He will be sentenced in February for a maximum of 90 days in jail.

Johnson was charged with a felony count of embezzlement for allegedly taking $5,700 from the Half Moon Bay Police Department Officer's Association. Johnson, who worked in Half Moon Bay from 2008 to 2010, had always stated that he intended to return the money.

In the years following the alleged embezzlement, he paid $4,000 back to the association, according to the District Attorney's Office.

During the case, Johnson's attorney had questioned whether Johnson was mentally competent. Following a mental health evaluation in July, he was ordered to stand trial.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6.

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