Federal authorities recently released former 5th Circuit Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson from prison. He was responsible for violating a boatload of military and civilian laws and received only a year in prison, but got out early because of the corona-virus pandemic.
What’s a “solicitor?” In some venues, the chief law enforcement officer is called the district attorney, but in South Carolina, they call the chief law enforcement officer a “solicitor,” whose job it is to bring criminals to justice.
It turns out, Dan Johnson himself, was committing one criminal act after another. He used the power of his office to commit a multitude of offences. This is called acting under the color of law.
Grand Jury indictment included, but was not limited to: wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of federal funds, false statements, conversion of federal funds and obstruction of justice.
The solicitor’s job carries with it a special fidelity that demands the highest integrity, but Daniel E. Johnson was terribly challenged in that particular department. And, it wasn’t long before the people of Richland and Kershaw Counties in South Carolina got wise to their solicitor’s criminal activities.
The feds were finally forced to become involved when several citizens were demanding justice. Cops always hate bringing down one of their own, no matter how dirty he/she might be.
Federal authorities investigated only a portion of Johnson’s criminal past, racking up 52 counts in the indictment. Major Dan Johnson was facing twenty years in prison, but the feds cut a deal with Johnson slashing 52 counts down to only two (2) violations, but only if he would rat-out those who were also involved.
Winston Holliday, Alyssa Richardson and William Lewis of the United States Attorneys Office in Columbia, South Carolina prosecuted the case.
Johnson was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. After the multitude of heartaches Johnson caused while in public office, he ended up with a very light slap on the wrist. Johnson was disbarred and can “allegedly” never practice law again, but you know how these lawyers protect their own. We suspect Johnson will be given an opportunity down the road, to reinstate his law license once again. Wait and see!
AN INCREDIBLE CASE
THAT FEDERAL PROSECUTORS
A citizen of Columbia claimed Daniel Johnson was having an affair with his wife and wanted to file charges of inappropriate behavior against Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson. Affairs Johnson was having with other women, both married and unmarried, were being just glossed over as, lacking credible evidence.
But this particular citizen evolved into a whistle-blower and began to focus in on, not just the illicit affair, but all the skulduggery associated with the corrupt solicitor’s office. The solicitor and his friends decided to take some decisive action.
Some arsonists were dispatched late at night to burn down the residence the citizen whistle-blower was renting ostensibly to destroy any evidence he might have against Solicitor Daniel E. Johnson.
Actually, two fires were set. Apparently, the first fire fizzled out either because the arsonists were inept, or because it was only designed to get the citizen whistle-blower out of the house so the suspicious fire would not turn into a murder investigation.
Five days later arsonist(s) returned to properly start a fire that would engulf the entire home. Destroying all the contents within.
The citizen whistle-blower feels to this day, the arsonists were attempting to kill him. With any luck, the second conflagration would, not only destroy the contents of the home, but burn the citizen whistle-blower to death and solve all their problems. Fire investigators quickly realized the renter (citizen whistle-blower) had nothing to do with the two fires.
The renter is not sure if Solicitor Dan Johnson conspired with off-duty members of law enforcement, or conspired with the landlord/owner to set the fire to his own property. He found out the landlord/owner had filed insurance claims for nine suspicious fires in the past and may have been involved in some sort of insurance fraud scheme.
Could it be the insurance companies were demanding that Dan Johnson as Solicitor investigate to see if the owner was setting fires to his own properties for the purpose of defrauding the insurance companies?
Did Dan Johnson cut a deal with the owner of the property the whistle-blower citizen was renting, that if he burnt down the house, he wouldn’t prosecute? Unfortunately we can only guess, because when the chief law enforcement officer is a major criminal himself, there is no one credible to investigate anything.
Another interesting tidbit is the fact the landlord/owner was a prior police officer with the City of Columbia, SC. He also possessed a license as a bail bondsman. If a suspect skipped bail, the bail bondsman is obligated to pay the solicitor’s office.
People in the know feel that Dan Johnson may have cut a deal with the landlord/owner and bail bondsman to work with him on the requirement to pay the solicitor when a person jumps bail. And, in return, he would burn down the citizen whistle-blower’s home.
As luck would have it, this particular citizen was out of town when the fire was set. He returned only to find out he was homeless. Some would have turned tail and run, but not this particular man, who was once an officer in the United States Army. He wasn’t going to allow a bully with a badge to intimidate him, that’s for sure.
Dan Johnson not only had a badge, but he exerted enormous influence over an army of badges called the police. He used his extraordinary power as a solicitor to deal with recalcitrant individuals who were attempting to expose his criminal activity.
Since the burning of his home didn’t kill the whistle-blower, or intimidate him to flee the state, Solicitor Dan Johnson, operating under the color of law, “encouraged” Sheriff Leon Lott to arrest the now homeless man under the bogus charge of filing false claims against him and his office.
Before this shit-storm, citizen turned whistle-blower was a successful business man. Knowing this, the solicitor’s office decided to do whatever they could to cut off all of his income by threatening others that contracted for his services.
Aside from other legitimate business ventures, the citizen whistle-blower had an auto dealer’s license. Solicitor Dan Johnson aggressively had his dealer’s license suspended and concentrated all the power of the solicitor’s office on any business venture he was involved in.
Solicitor Dan Johnson illegally used the power of his office against this man until he felt the citizen whistle-blower was no longer a threat to him or his office. The relentless harassment from the solicitor’s office did not cease for well over four years.
The citizen whistle-blower was charged with arson. Authorities were trying to pin the house fire on the resident himself, saying he attempted to burn his own home down. This was a complete lie. When the citizen whistle-blower was allegedly setting a fire at his own home, he was on video meeting with a fellow veteran at the Roadhouse Restaurant six miles away.
The evidence was there to exonerate the citizen whistle-blower, but the evil solicitor and his friends in the sheriff’s office were doing all they could to suppress exculpatory evidence in order to neutralize the claims the whistle-blower was making.
The citizen whistle-blower was falsely accused and arrested. He was held in pre-trial confinement for 22 months before being released. The corrupt law enforcement officials ignored all the laws to imprison a man for almost two years without a trial, for crimes he had not committed.
Think it can’t happen? Just watch what happens to you if you expose the criminal misconduct of those who carry badges and guns.
WHAT STORY IS COMPLETE
WITHOUT A CORRUPT SHERIFF
TO PROTECT YOUR BACKSIDE
No story of corruption would be complete without a corrupt sheriff. It turns out that Dan Johnson once had worked for Sheriff Leon Lott, the current sheriff of Richland County, South Carolina. Sheriff L. Lott and Solicitor Dan Johnson were good buddies who would routinely protect each other’s behind.
Johnson’s close association with Sheriff Leon Lott came in handy as he tried to rid himself of the citizen whistle-blower. Sheriff deputies hid in the weeds waiting for orders from the sheriff to put an end to this pesky whistle-blower efforts to disclose the chronic corruption occurring at the solicitor’s office.
Finally, the day had arrived and deputies pounced on the citizen whistle-blower for effectively exposing the corruption of the evil solicitor. An arrest was made and the citizen whistle-blower was thrown in jail in a pre-trial confinement status, not for a week or two, but for almost two years.
He’d still be there today if one of the South Carolina Supreme Court Justices had not intervened on his behalf. And, since the solicitor/sheriff tag team never had any evidence to begin with, they released the citizen whistle-blower from jail.
This is how law enforcement officials are able to punish someone without charges, without a trial, without a conviction. They put this man in jail for almost two years before a supreme court justice told them to either fish or cut bait.
Why in the world this citizen whistle-blower has not yet filed a lawsuit against all those who have harmed him remains a mystery. Our guess is that he is still gathering evidence and looking for a lawyer he can trust. That’s hard to do in the good-old-boy kingdom of Columbia, South Carolina.
Folks, members of our staff have relatives in Columbia, South Carolina. We love the people and the food of Columbia, but something seems to be off track. We have done several stories about the misconduct occurring at the VA Dorn Medical Center and have called for the discharge of the director there.
Now we discover how corrupt many officials in law enforcement are in Columbia. The citizens of South Carolina need to rise up and make some major changes there. The first litmus test when you go vote, is to only elect those who believe in the rule of law regardless of their skin color. There is something stinky going on in Columbia and the we recommend the citizens rise up to take out the trash.
THE MILITARY SIDE OF THE STORY
Major Daniel E. Johnson was a rising star in the civilian world (before he crashed and burned), he was also a rising star in the South Carolina Air National Guard, working as a part-time reservist and a JAG officer throwing military members in the brig for doing far less than he was doing on any given day. Do the words “major hypocrite” come to mind?
Major Dan Johnson was collecting expenses for travel, lodging and meal expenses from both the National Guard and from the people of Richland and Kershaw Counties in South Carolina as their chief law enforcement officer.
Reporter John Monk, for TheState.com reported that…
As a major in the Judge Advocate General’s group of the Guard, Johnson handled legal issues.
On occasion, he traveled at Guard expense out of the country, including visiting the South American nation of Colombia.
Johnson also briefed Colombian military lawyers when they visited South Carolina in 2015.
Johnson’s federal indictment also cites another alleged scheme that Johnson used to bilk the military.
While on official Air National Guard travel, Johnson “drove a 5th Circuit Solicitor’s office vehicle” but then filed for mileage reimbursement from the Guard, the indictment said.
“As a result, the Air National Guard deposited money into Daniel E. Johnson’s personal account, thereby converting the military funds for his person use,” the indictment said.
The indictment charges Johnson embezzled $7,102 from the Air National Guard.
In his solicitor’s post, which he held for nearly eight years until being suspended last fall after his indictment, Johnson was the chief prosecutor for Richland and Kershaw counties.
Johnson had a salary of about $140,000 a year and a staff of some 140 employees. Johnson’s top aide, Nicole Holland, who also was charged with embezzlement, has pleaded guilty and testified at Johnson’s trial.
EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW
JUST A JOKE IN THE MILITARY
Our loyal readers know where we are going with this. What do you think would happen to a second lieutenant or sergeant major in the military if they had willfully embezzled $7,102 from the military and done all the other things that lined the pockets of Major Dan Johnson?
Aside from being the solicitor for two large counties in South Carolina, Johnson was also an officer in the United States Army. And, as an officer in the military, he was supposed to be held to a higher standard. His violations of the UCMJ could very well include, but not be limited to the following violations of military law…
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR FRAUD
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR ADULTERY
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR FRATERNIZATION
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR CONSPIRACY
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR EMBEZZLEMENT
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION
DERELICTION OF DUTY
THEFT OF PUBLIC MONEY
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR THEFT
CRUELTY AND MALTREATMENT
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH PROCEDURAL RULES
FALSE OFFICIAL STATEMENTS
PROVOKING SPEECHES OR GESTURES
ACCESSORY TO ARSON
CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER FOR BEING AN ACCESSORY TO ARSON
MAILS: TAKING, OPENING, SECRETING, DESTROYING, OR STEALING
PUBLIC RECORD: ALTERING, CONCEALING, REMOVING, MUTILATING, OBLITERATING OR DESTROYING
COMMUNICATION OF A THREAT
So, we ask… why did the military decide to just look the other way when Major Dan Johnson was embezzling $7,120 from the Army for travel expenses? Who were the Army officers that failed to hold Major Dan Johnson accountable for his egregious violations of law?
And, why in the world did the United States Army allow Dan Johnson to resign with an Honorable discharge? Why isn’t Dan Johnson sitting in Ft. Leavenworth like so many others who have done far less?
WHY WASN’T MAJOR JOHNSON FLAGGED?
For those in the other branches of military service, the United States Army has a method to ensure that a member does not inadvertently get promoted or resign if he/she has violated the UCMJ. The Army calls it flagging a file.
According to Army Regulation (AR 600-8-2), flagging a file describes an action to immediately initiate a suspension.
When a soldier commits an act that changes his/her status from favorable (meets the standard), to that of unfavorable (fails to meet the standard) a “flag” is initiated immediately until a proper investigation can be conducted by the Command Investigative Division (CID).
It would appear that Major Dan Johnson’s theft of Army money and the massive violations of law in his civilian job was viewed by the Army as “favorable” behavior, meeting the standards of an Army officer.
At what point does the Army conclude that an officer’s behavior in the civilian world is viewed as unfavorable, failing to meet the standard of a commissioned officer in the United States Army.
If the officer rapes and murders someone, will the United States Army still give that same individual an Honorable discharge as they did for Major Dan Johnson? Where does the Army draw the line?
The new edition of AR 600-8-2 was published May 11, and will take effect June 11 for soldiers who have been flagged for any number of adverse actions. It replaces the October 2012 edition of the regulation. It applies to Regular Army, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers.
Included among the many circumstances that can trigger a flag are:
- Military legal proceedings.
- An official reprimand, censure or admonishment.
- Absence without leave, or AWOL.
- Security issues, to include the revocation or denial of a security clearance.
- Involuntary separation or discharge procedures under the Qualitative Management Program and other ouster program managed from Army headquarters.
- The denial of an automatic time-in-service promotion to private enlisted two, private first class, specialist, first lieutenant or chief warrant officer two.
- The failure of Army health services soldiers to maintain appropriate professional licenses and certifications.
- Failure to comply with physical fitness or weight control standards.
While the revised regulation consolidates and clarifies interim changes made to the document in recent years, it also defines the requirement to initiate a flag when an investigation is opened on a soldier in a criminal proceeding, or by a commander that could result in a disciplinary action or loss in rank, pay or privileges.
The new regulation removes the requirement to initiate a flag solely for the opening of a financial liability investigation related to property loss. It also addresses flagging actions that are triggered by “referred officer reports” and “relief for cause NCO reports” under the new Officer and NCO Evaluation Reporting Systems.
The updated Army regulation requires that flags be initiated within three working days after a soldier’s status changes from favorable to unfavorable. Active flags will then be reviewed and validated at least monthly by a soldier’s unit commander, and by the battalion-level commander when the flag has been in place for more than six months.
Flags will be removed within three working days after a soldier’s status changes from unfavorable to favorable. Actions that typically are prohibited because of a flag include;
- Appointments, re-appointments, re-enlistments and service extensions.
- Reassignments, unless specifically authorized by the Human Resources Command, and when appropriate, senior field commanders and state adjutants general.
- Appearance before a semi-centralized promotion board.
- Promotion, lateral appointment and frocking.
- Recommendations for, and receipt of, military awards and decorations.
- Attendance at military schools, to include NCO and Officer Education System courses. The prohibition does not include initial entry training.
- Army-funded undergraduate and graduate civilian school attendance, to include courses being taken through the Tuition Assistance program.
- Government-funded travel and command sponsorship for the family members of soldiers making a permanent change of station move to an overseas location.
- Payment of enlistment and retention bonuses.
Commissioned and warrant officers who have been flagged generally are authorized to submit a request for an unqualified resignation, discharge or retirement. Because Johnson was at the field grade rank of major, had he been properly flagged, his request for resignation would have to be approved by either the Air Force or Army Secretary.
Approval from the Army or Air Force Secretary was not required, because Adjutant General Van “Fatty Arbuckle” McCarty failed to flag Major Johnson as it was his duty to do.
So we ask, should the Army have flagged Major Johnson’s file? The circumstances specifically say, “military legal proceedings” and not civilian legal proceedings. But, should Major Johnson have been charged by the command with embezzlement by the Army which would have red flagged his file?
Who was protecting Major Johnson?
Our sources are saying the newly installed Major General Van “tubby two-shoes” McCarty protected Major Dan Johnson from any investigation or charges. We have also learned that MG McCarty is a graduate of the prestigious Citadel, and as it turns out, so was Major Dan Johnson. Is it a case of the special Citadel fraternity protecting one of their own?
Another question! Has the Army, consistent with their own regulations, flagged MG Van “tubby” McCarty for his obvious weight problem? Or do Army regulations, as Leona Helmsley used to say, “only apply to the “little people.”
Under the Army Weight Control Program (AWCP), Army personnel are required to weigh-in every six months. Army Regulations (AR) 600-9 & 40-501, makes it clear that all Army personnel must be able to meet the physical demands of their duties under combat conditions and present a trim military appearance. Are flag-ranking officers in the Army given a waiver to AR 600-9?
So, Major General Van “chubby checkers” McCarty needs to be flagged.
HIS HONORABLE DISCHARGE
IS THE FINAL INSULT
It’s bad enough that Major Dan Johnson was given a pass by the military after stealing money from the military, but it really pours salt in the wound when he received an Honorable discharge. If a full and proper investigation of Major Johnson had been undertaken in the military, investigators surely would have discovered numerous cases of sexual misconduct.
Yes, my dear readers, the whole concept of Equal Justice Under Law in the military is nothing more than a big joke.
How many enlisted and junior officers are languishing in a military gulag right now having committed the same crimes as Major Dan Johnson?
A Navy lieutenant in the military reserves like Johnson, was sent to a general court martial over a $75 travel claim, money of which he had never received.
For a single count of fraternization and a single count of improperly submitting a $75 travel claim, the lieutenant was dishonorably discharged and is a convicted felon.
For embezzling $7,102 dollars, Major Daniel Johnson received zero punishment from the military and an Honorable discharge.
In another case, for sending a forceful and honest email to a pathetic Army officer, the Army convened a board and gave Major Andrew Higgins an Other-than-Honorable discharge.
For doing nothing wrong, Colonel Dan Wilson received a 5.5 year prison sentence. 3.5 years into his sentence, the appeals court threw out all the charges saying the Marine Corps didn’t have enough evidence to convict him (or anyone else) of the crime.
After being convicted of false charges by a military attempting to pacify the MeToo Movement, Air Force Major Clarence Anderson III was imprisoned for 3 years. He still fights for benefits that he has been wrongfully deprived of.
Our sources tell us the savvy Major Johnson figured out a way to resign and receive his Honorable discharge from the Army by suddenly claiming he was suffering from PTSD.
The Army was more than glad to quietly usher Major Johnson out the back door, than to admit they had failed to supervise him. The Army’s failure to monitor Major Johnson’s behavior allowed him to perpetrate his travel claim fraud and many other violations of the UCMJ.
If the Army properly flagged and investigated Major Dan Johnson as they should have, they would be forced to file charges against other senior ranking officers, something the Army find most distasteful. The Army heard no evil, saw no evil and spoke no evil.
In a perfect world where all of our government agencies believed in the rule of law, South Carolina State authorities should have been waiting for Daniel Johnson as left the federal prison to put the bracelets right back on him for numerous violations of state statutes.
And in that same perfect world, the CID, military police and Army JAG officials should have been there to greet him as well. Daniel Johnson should have been placed under arrest by military police and led off to a general court martial to stand trial on those charges that are unique to the military. At the very least, Dan Johnson should have never received an Honorable discharge.
Just picture the scene, the Army and South Carolina State authorities tussling over custody of Dan Johnson with the Army shouting, “We are asserting jurisdiction to court martial Major Johnson. You can have him when he gets out of Ft. Leavenworth in twenty-five years.”
Too much you say? Remember, the military can give a military member up to seven years in prison for dating an enlisted woman and submitting a travel claim under a hundred dollars. Or, they can give you 5.5 years in prison all based on the questionable testimony of a 6-year-old child. Don’t say the military doesn’t do it, because they do.
Why was Dan Johnson allowed to “resign” from the military to avoid military justice? Sounds like he got the same deal the admirals and generals get… avoiding an investigation and a trial by resigning or retiring. There are those above the law, make no mistake about it.
Dan Johnson served his paltry prison sentence for the feds, now the people of Richland and Kershaw Counties are wondering if the state attorney general is going to step up, and do the right thing.
Will the Great State of South Carolina file criminal charges against Dan Johnson for the six-mile-wide path of destruction he caused as a totally corrupt solicitor?
Is Johnson going to get a pass from South Carolina just like he got from pathetic military JAG officers? Inquiring minds want to know.