Former Solicitor Dan Johnson pleads not guilty to more federal charges

    Former Solicitor Dan Johnson pleads not guilty to more federal charges<p>{/p}

    COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – Former Fifth Circuit Court Solicitor Dan Johnson walked into a federal courthouse Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to more federal charges.

    Johnson was already hit with three dozen additional charges in November, accusing him of embezzling federal dollars from the South Carolina Air National Guard.

    Prosecutors say he took more than $7,000 by charging guard expenses to his solicitor’s credit card and then took the reimbursement money for himself. Records also accuse Johnson of erasing evidence from his phone to hide the activity.

    Johnson was initially indicted on 26 federal fraud charges in September, claiming he and his former solicitor’s office aid Nicole Holland misused more than $55,000 in public money. A State Grand Jury then indicted him on similar charges days later.

    The 47-year-old wants a trial and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. However, on Nov. 1, Holland pleaded guilty to two counts of mail and wire fraud and is expected to testify against Johnson at his upcoming trial.

    Johnson looked to be heading for another term in the solicitor’s office until he was plagued by allegations of misbehavior leading up to last spring’s Democratic primary.

    Byron Gipson easily defeated him and then went on to win the office in the November election. Johnson’s federal trail is set for late February.

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