Dan Johnson Goes Down

S.C. fifth circuit solicitor trounced in Democratic primary …

Scandal-scarred South Carolina fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson was handily defeated on Tuesday night in his bid for a third term as the top prosecutor in the Midlands region of the state.

Columbia, S.C. attorney Byron Gipson eviscerated Johnson in the Democratic primary for this post, winning more than 73 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 27 percent.

That’s an old-fashioned curb-stomping, people …

With no “Republican” candidate on the ballot, Gipson is all but assured of claiming this office come November.

Gipson’s win represents a coup for prominent Democratic attorney Dick Harpootlian, who has been battling Johnson in the aftermath of a controversial 2016 court case.

Harpootlian’s nonprofit organization – Public Access to Public Records (PAPR) – first exposed the incumbent’s misuse of tax dollars several months ago using the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The documents uncovered by his group – which were first reported on by this news site back in February – revealed taxpayer-funded expenditures by Johnson’s office on swanky parties, cab and Uber rides, club and gym memberships and hotel rooms all over the world.

“This is fiscal malfeasance on a stunning scale,” we wrote recently in reference to Johnson’s profligate spending.

Johnson’s fiscal problems have prompted a federal-state investigation into his office.  They have also revived allegations of stalking and sexual harassment against the embattled prosecutor.  Earlier this month we published a lengthy interview with Debra Russell, one of Johnson’s alleged victims, who recalled in detail his unwanted romantic advances – as well as the professional consequences she says she endured for refusing to acquiesce to them.

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Despite the myriad scandals swirling around him, Johnson filed for reelection in late March – waiting until the very last day possible to submit his paperwork.

It’s been a rough road for him since then.

In early April, his office was stripped of a high-profile case involving suspended Greenville, S.C. sheriff Will Lewis.

More recently, several of his accusers have sat down with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of the ongoing investigation into his improper conduct – news of which was exclusively reported by this site back in 2013.



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