Pacific County deputy faces criminal charges

Eleven criminal charges were filed Monday against a Pacific County Sheriff’s Office deputy who has been on administrative leave since April.

Vance O. Johnson, 44, is charged with first-degree extortion, four counts of bribery, five counts of reckless endangerment and one count of reckless driving.

“Today is a very sad day for the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson, who is no relation to Vance Johnson. “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.”

Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said the charges stem from an incident that initially happened while Johnson was off duty, then subsequent events happened while he was on duty. The details of the allegations were not available as of press time. Johnson remains on administrative leave.

Johnson is a five-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. The internal investigation was conducted by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at Sheriff Johnson’s request. Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Meyer will prosecute the case in Pacific County Superior Court because one of the witnesses works for the Pacific County Prosecutor’s Office.


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