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Ex-prosecutor in Columbia banned from practicing law in the state

Dan Johnson pleaded guilty to a federal crime and served time in prison.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The former lead criminal prosecutor for Richland and Lexington Counties, who himself wound up serving time for a criminal charge, has been disbarred by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Wednesday the justices released their agreement deal against Dan Johnson, who used to be the Fifth Circuit Solicitor. That position is in charge of prosecuting criminal cases in Richland and Kershaw Counties. 

The disbarment means he cannot practice law in South Carolina. 

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In February of 2019, Johnson plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud. He admitted to using a work-issued credit card in 2016 for personal expenses. Prosecutors presented as evidence a bank statement dated November 14, 2016 that showed $4,713.41 in expenses. While prosecutors say not all of that money was charged improperly, some of it was used for hotel rooms in Columbia, Chicago, and Las Vegas, as well as a Panamanian-based airline ticket.  

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He was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a little over $19,000 in restitution. He was released from federal prison in May of 2020.

Johnson was elected solicitor in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. He was defeated in a primary in 2018 before charges were filed against him. 

As part of his guilty plea, he also agreed never to seek public office again.  

Johnson still has state charges related to the same investigation that are pending. He has pleaded not guilty to those accusations. 

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