Once again, former South Carolina fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson is facing a fresh criminal indictment. So is his former aide, Nicole Holland.
A statewide grand jury indicted Johnson on one charge of obtaining property by false pretenses this week. Meanwhile, Holland was indicted on forgery and perjury charges.
Add these charges to the list, right?
Johnson is already staring down multiple federal and state charges related to a host of financial irregularities in the fifth circuit office – which he ran from 2011 until his suspension last September. As of this writing, the Blythewood, S.C. native is facing more than five decades behind bars in connection with the various charges.
Johnson’s problems began a year ago in the wake of a dispute with influential Columbia, S.C. attorney (and recently elected state senator) Dick Harpootlian. Last February, Harpootlian’s group – Public Access to Public Records (PAPR) – released voluminous records exposing questionable payments within the solicitor’s office.
These documents detailed taxpayer-funded expenditures on swanky parties, cab and Uber rides, club and gym memberships and hotel rooms all over the world. The latest round of charges would appear to stem from alleged efforts by Johnson and Holland to cover their tracks.
Holland – who has already pleaded guilty to federal charges – is scheduled to testify at Johnson’s upcoming federal trial.
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Prior to being indicted and suspended last fall, Johnson lost his bid for reelection as solicitor. Columbia, S.C. attorney Byron Gipson eviscerated him in the Democratic primary for the fifth circuit solicitor’s post last June – and defeated petition candidate John Meadors in the general election last November.
Johnson’s stunning fall from grace was one of the biggest news stories of the year … prompting a flood of media coverage all across the state.
Among the bombshells to drop? The release of a 2011 report prepared by investigators of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) that analyzed Johnson’s toxic, tortured relationship with his ex-wife – Kana Rahman.
Johnson likely would have faced charges in connection with that inquiry, however Rahman ultimately recanted her testimony about his actions toward her (and others).
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