A local reverend and a Sumter school board member facing arson charges. 49-year-old Isaac Johnson is accused of setting two duplexes on fire. He's been a district 17 school board member since last year and a probation officer for.
On February 23, Sumter police say they encountered thick black smoke coming from the attic at 608 Brockenton St. The next night they were back checking on the duplex's other side. This time police say flames were shooting from the roof. Chief Patty Patterson says investigators suspected arson that point.
Isaac Johnson owns the duplexes. According to investigators just a couple days before the first blaze Johnson increased his insurance coverage on the building by more than $100,000. Police say he has a clean record and his job is to encourage young people to keep theirs clean. In 2006 Governor Mark Sanford appointed Johnson to the state board of juvenile probation and parole. Last year Sumter elected him to district 17's board of trustees. But, Chief Patterson says the evidence points to Johnson so officers arrested him Wednesday.
Isaac Johnson is free on a $7,500 bond. His next court appearance is in May. If convicted he could spend up to 25-years in prison.