In this April 10, 2017 picture, 5th district Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson in a discussion with colleagues during a hearing in Richland County Court. Johnson was charged Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 and more than two dozen charges in connection with the misspending of public funds on a trip to foreign countries, including the Netherlands and the Galapagos Islands. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP)
COLUMBIA, S. C. – South Carolina’s Supreme Court has suspended the law license of an attorney accused of embezzling money seized drugs defendants to pay for personal trips to Europe and the Galapagos Islands.
The court ruled that to Monday for the 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson, whose jurisdiction Richland and Kershaw county, together with the state, the capital of Columbia.
Johnson was suspended from office last week after his indictment on more than two dozen federal charges including wire fraud and theft from the government. His communications director, Nicole Holland, faces 26 charges.
State and federal authorities have the research to the travel and spending habits of Johnson, who logged more than 70 days of travel over a period of less than two years. Traveling to locations, including Amsterdam, Colombia, and the Galapagos Islands were reflected in credit card bills and receipts issued by a non-profit organization that obtained them by means of open-records laws.
The money, prosecutors said, came from the state and federal accounts holding assets forfeited by defendants in the illegal drug trade.
Johnson recently lost a primary bid for a third term and has not responded to the reports about the charges against him. Previously he has refused to answer specific questions about his travel, but has said that he did not plan to spend public money to use for personal expenses.
Johnson has also has been indicted on charges of fraud and misconduct in the office. He and Holland, who also faces embezzlement charges, is set to appear in court on those charges later this week.
Kinnard can be reached on Twitter http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read her work on https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard.