COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Newly-released documents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division revealed that embattled Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson used his office's chief investigator to place a GPS tracker on his ex-wife's car nearly seven years ago.
The documents, released via a South Carolina Freedom of Information Act request, were dated June 30, 2011, and were a part of an investigation by SLED when the agency was prompted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that one of their agents has been threatened by Johnson. The agent, Mario Martin and Johnson's ex-wife, Kana Johnson, had been dating during the time when Johnson and his ex were reconciling.
The alleged threat took place in the parking lot of the Thailand Restaurant, located off Saint Andrews Road on June 11, 2011. Dan Johnson tracked his ex-wife to that location based on the GPS tracker he had placed on her vehicle.
When he got there, his ex-wife Kana Johnson was sitting in the passenger's seat of Agent Martin's car. The report states that "while sitting in Agent Martin's car, Solicitor Johnson approached the vehicle, had a camera and appeared to be taking pictures of her and Agent Martin."
The documents go on to say that at one point in the confrontation Ms. Johnson said that Solicitor Johnson told Agent Martin "I'll put a bullet in you, (expletive)."
During a SLED interview, Johnson denies making the threat and says he has a recording of the whole thing which he was willing to turn over to them. Kana Johnson, who initially gave a written statement that her ex-husband made the threat, backtracked in a later written statement.
The documents also reveal that Martin also gave a "questionable" statement to investigators, including that "there was deception indicated" on a polygraph test given to Martin by SLED investigators.
The SLED report states that the reason Kana Johnson was meeting with Agent Martin was to "settle his remaining balance that he owed her for prior legal services that she had done for him." Agent Martin had previously hired Kana Johnson to represent him in his pending divorce. Agent Martin told SLED that "sometime after he became legally separated from his wife, he and Kana Johnson began dating."
Kana Johnson details a number of interactions with her ex-husband in connection with Martin.
"There were other incidents where I reached out to Mario and Dan would find out, whether he saw me texting or looked at my phone," Kana Johnson said. "He and I would talk at length about why I was so promiscuous and so non-committal."
Weeks later on June 20, 2011, a licensed public investigator in South Carolina told SLED investigators that two weeks prior, he was contacted by Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office Investigator Campbell Streater about borrowing a tracker. The P.I. was not told what the tracker would be used for but did give Streater the tracker.
Streater also gave sworn testimony that he did not know the use of the tracker, but knew the vehicle he placed it on belonged to Kana Johnson.
Days after the documented restaurant parking lot clash, Kana Johnson said a tracker was discovered on her car.
SLED turned their investigation over to the state's attorney general's office, who found no "prosecutable offense" for Johnson and closed the investigation in 2012.
Johnson has been at the center of a watchdog inquiry where thousands of pages of documents reveal questionable spending by the solicitor's office. He has also filed for reelection for his post as the Fifth Circuit Solicitor. He's been the leader of the Fifth Circuit since 2010.
Johnson has denied any wrongdoing with the office's spending.
When asked about the documents released on Thursday, attorneys for Johnson said no comment would be issued.
You can read the entire document here. WARNING: Some of the details in the document are graphic in nature.