A Pacific County Sheriff’s deputy remains on administrative leave after eleven criminal charges were filed today against the deputy, including one count of first degree extortion, four counts of bribery, five counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of reckless driving.
The deputy, identified as Vance O. Johnson age 44, is a 5 year veteran of the office. Deputy Johnson had been on administrative leave while an internal investigation that led to the criminal investigation related to these charges was conducted. The investigation was conducted by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at the request of Sheriff Scott Johnson to ensure that it was conducted in a fair and impartial manner.
The investigation was started after information and witness statements were received on April 21nd of this year relating to an incident that Deputy Johnson was involved in that occurred originally while he was off duty, and later events that occurred while he was on duty.
Sheriff Scott Johnson said, “Today is a very sad day for the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, it’s news none of us ever wish to hear, however nothing is more important than maintaining public trust and confidence in our employees, all of whom I hold to the highest moral and ethical standards”.
Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Meyer is prosecuting this case in Pacific County Superior Court due to a conflict regarding one of the witnesses in this case working for the Pacific County Prosecutor’s Office. Sheriff Johnson & Deputy Johnson are not related.