"I have no comment at all,” Assistant District Attorney J. Floyd Johnson told the INDsider this morning when asked whether he is under investigation by federal officials. “Yes,” was his reply to the next question about whether he is still employed as an assistant DA in the 15th Judicial District. Johnson would not even say how long he’s been with the local prosecutor’s office. "I have no comment about anything."
A message left at lunch time for Johnson’s boss, District Attorney Mike Harson, was not immediately returned.
However, two sources close to the matter confirm that the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District is investigating Johnson. The prosecutor is well-known in legal circles for handling drug offense cases, having headed the Zoned Area Prosecution program, which was created by the DA’s office to target street level drug dealers and neighborhood drug dealing.
While a case involving Johnson has been officially opened, according to our sources, as of late this week, no public filings in the case had been made in federal court. The investigation appears to involve a tax matter related to the IRS but may have been triggered from complaints about Johnson’s record on drug prosecutions, including drug cases he chose not to prosecute and his decisions to reduce charges, according to one law enforcement official who asked not to be identified.
Acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan declined comment. A woman who identified herself as Lisa in Flanagan’s Shreveport office told The INDsider: “He said to pass on that our policy is to decline to comment on any pending investigations.” When asked if that was confirmation of an investigation on Johnson, she added, “Actually all he said was we would not have any comment.”
This matter is not the first time prosecutor Johnson finds himself on the other side of the law.
In mid-2005, the state Attorney General’s office charged him in a Bill of Information with domestic abuse battery for allegedly abusing his wife, Lysandra, over a three-day period in May 2004.
Johnson denied the allegations in news reports.
Police were called to a local hospital after Johnson brought his wife in for what he said were severe migraines, though she had swelling in her face and a red eye. At the time, Johnson offered to resign, but Harson instead suspended him for two weeks and ordered him to undergo anger management counseling.
At the time, Harson told The Daily Advertiser that Johnson would likely keep his job even if convicted of the domestic abuse charge. The AG’s office handled the investigation because of Johnson’s relationship to Harson’s office.
Since Johnson’s arrest, he continued to prosecute domestic violence cases, according to the daily paper, and was the lead prosecutor in the Alexuia Feast case, the October 2004 killing of a 13-year-old who had been removed from her Lafayette home by authorities because of allegations of abuse.
The domestic abuse charges against Johnson were dismissed in April 2006, "due to the victim's request," confirms Louisiana AG spokeswoman Jennifer Roche.