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Fired Police Officer, Indicted Anti-CRT Johnston County School Board Member Advances to November Election After Primary Win

Source: News & Observer 

Before he was impeached twice, charged with 90+ crimes in multiple jurisdictions, badly lost an election and then claimed it was stolen, some in the media called Donald Trump “The Teflon Don” – and it looks like Johnston County now has their own version, Teflon Ron.

Teflon Ron, known to Johnston County parents, the Smithfield Police Department and the Johnston County court system as Ronald Johnson, has been in the news numerous times over the last few years for many reasons. 

Johnson’s story dates back to July 2022 when it was announced that he had been suspended from the Smithfield Police Department as part of an internal investigation. A few days after the investigation was made public, Johnson sent an announcement to The JoCo Report that he would resign from the school board because he was “not in position to govern or lead.”

A little more than a week after he said he would resign, he sent another statement to The JoCo Report rescinding his resignation.

Johnson is best known for pushing forth a Johnston County school board policy that created new rules that limit how teachers can discuss history and racism in their classrooms in exchange for more funding for the school district.

Under the policy, the district can fire or discipline teachers if they teach that American historical figures weren’t heroes, undermine the U.S. Constitution in lessons, or say that racism is a permanent part of American life.

At the time, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to turn over $7.9 million in school funding it had previously withheld until the school board passed a policy preventing what it called Critical Race Theory from being taught.

Johnson was first elected to the school board in 2016, reelected in 2020, and was censured twice by the school board in 2022 – once for secretly recording conversations during closed-session meetings and once for sending texts during board meetings where he commented on the appearance of female school employees, The News & Observer reported.

He also tried having two special-education students removed from Clayton High School and transferred somewhere else because of a personal issue with their parents.

Following the second censure vote in October 2022, Johnson was fired from the Smithfield Police Department where he had been an officer for 17 years. Smithfield officials said he was fired due to “detrimental personal conduct.”

In April 2023, Johnson was indicted on charges of extortion, willingly failing to discharge duties and felony obstruction of justice for what the state called “an act of personal retaliation.”

The extortion charge is related to an incident where Johnson attempted to “gain an advantage over a rival for elected office,” according to WTVD. The failure to discharge duties charges are due to Johnson recording a closed session of the board of education, not complying with a public records request and attempting to have two students with special needs transferred from Clayton High School, the TV station reported.

According to the state’s charging documents, the obstruction of justice charge is because Johnson took evidence from a business once he found out he was under investigation.

Despite his shameful and embarrassing recent past, Johnson still serves on the school board and was the top vote-getter in the Republican primary for District 7 earlier this month. He will move on to the November general election where he could keep his seat even with the indictments and the board censures.

Shockingly, Johnson isn’t the only Johnston County elected official who remains in office while facing criminal charges. County Commissioner Richard “Dickie” Braswell was arrested and charged with indecent liberties with a 13-year-old child in 2022. He ran unopposed that year and was reelected.

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