SC prosecutor released on bond on embezzlement charges
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina prosecutor was released on bond Thursday on state charges related to alleged misspending of public funds.
Media outlets reported that 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond. He left the courthouse through a back door without speaking to reporters.
Johnson appeared in the same Richland County courthouse where he has served as prosecutor since his election in 2010. He was suspended from office last week following his indictment on more than two dozen federal charges including wire fraud and theft of government funds.
Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the state charges days later against Johnson, whose jurisdiction includes Richland and Kershaw counties, along with the state’s capital city of Columbia. Office workers were photographed removing Johnson’s name from the walls of his office suite.
His communications director and top aide, Nicole Holland, faces the same federal charges as well as state embezzlement charges. She was also released on bond Thursday.
State and federal authorities have been investigating the travel and spending habits of Johnson, who logged more than 70 days of travel over a period of less than two years. Trips to locations including Amsterdam, Colombia and the Galapagos Islands were reflected in credit card bills and receipts released by a nonprofit that obtained them through open-records laws.
The money, prosecutors said, was taken from state and federal accounts holding assets forfeited by defendants in illegal drug cases.
Johnson recently lost a primary bid for a third term and hasn’t responded to messages about charges against him. His federal arraignment has been scheduled for Tuesday.
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