Former Midlands prosecutor Dan Johnson disbarred by SC Supreme Court

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Dan Johnson, the former 5th Circuit solicitor who served federal prison time for using tax dollars to cover personal expenses, has been disbarred from practicing law by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

In an opinion filed Wednesday, the state’s high court said Johnson agreed to the action and “admits that his conduct violated” rules of professional conduct that guide attorneys.

In 2018, Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury on 26 counts of wire and mail fraud, conspiracy and theft of federal funds. A state grand jury also indicted Johnson on three counts of misconduct in office and embezzlement of public funds.

The once-thought rising star used his office to steal some $44,000 from the solicitor’s office by using his office credit card to pay for Johnson’s personal expenses, according to court testimony at Johnson’s plea hearing. That included using it to pay for “travel, vacations, romantic liaisons and double-reimbursements for military training,” U.S. District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie said at Johnson’s plea hearing in 2019.

Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court, and the other charges were all dismissed.

He was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, with three years of supervised release and a $19,270 fine to the Kershaw County Solicitor’s Office.

Johnson, who has pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges which are still pending, was released from prison in May 2020.

“We accept the Agreement and disbar Respondent from the practice of law in this state,” the court wrote in its ruling Wednesday.

The Post and Courier of Charleston first reported the opinion.

This story will be updated.