The Richland County, S.C. solicitor who is accused of pulling a gun on a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent – and threatening to kill him – was involved in another major personal dispute a few years ago. In fact Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson – then a ranking member of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department – may have benefitted from a massive cover-up involving some of the Midlands area’s most respected public officials.
FITS first reported on the gun/ murder threat allegations involving Johnson in this story, which was related to the S.C. Supreme Court’s public sanctioning of his wife, local attorney Kana Rahman-Johnson. What did she do? According to the court, Rahman-Johnson had sex with a client in a divorce case – namely, the FBI agent who was on the receiving end of her estranged husband’s threats.
But these recent allegations against Johnson (which a pair of Columbia, S.C.-based mainstream media outlets have been sitting on) may be small potatoes compared to a 2009 incident involving the prosecutor.
In March 2010 the website PoliceAbuse.com file a report alleging that “following a domestic dispute a police official entered into an inappropriate relationship with the wife of a local Columba, South Carolina businessman named Earl Graham.”
The official in question? Johnson, who at the time was serving as Chief Deputy and legal counselor to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD).
The website contacted Johnson, who “was not happy about the call.”
“He denies the allegations and threatened legal action if we continue to pursue the matter,” the website noted, although it added “there is evidence that contradicts (Johnson’s) claim,” referring to multiple “witnesses” to the affair, including family members and other officers of the RCSD.
So … what happened to Graham? Simply put, the hammer fell on him …
In early 2011, he was accused by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott of making false statements about Johnson.
“When someone makes a false report, it takes police officers’ time and resources away from legitimate police work and wastes the taxpayers’ money,” Lott said at the time to local television station WIS TV 10 (Columbia, S.C.).
WIS TV is one of the two outlets sitting on the Johnson story, incidentally.
In addition to this charge, twice in five days attempts were made by an unknown individual to burn Graham’s Northeast Columbia, S.C. home to the ground.
With him in it …
So … what really happened here?
In an effort to follow up on the original report from PoliceAbuse.com, FITS spoke with a wide range of sources – all of whom confirmed Graham’s version of events.
For starters several of our sources at Fort Jackson confirmed that Johnson and Graham’s wife repeatedly visited the Officer’s Club together (Johnson, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, is a captain and judge advocate in the National Guard).
Meanwhile law enforcement sources at multiple Midlands, S.C. agencies – including federal law enforcement sources – have corroborated Graham’s claims that Johnson was having an affair with his then-wife. Also, it’s worth noting that the only investigation exonerating Johnson was conducted by his own department.
FITS will continue to investigate not only the claims against Johnson – but also the bigger story: Why is the press not writing about them? We are also filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division seeking case files on Johnson which have reportedly been provided to at least one local media outlet.
In other words, stay tuned …