Like the president he said he claimed to admire so much, Kentucky Republican lawmaker and Louisville minister told a lot of stories about claimed “accomplishments” of his life.
He talked and wrote about being a peacemaker in the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, service as a chaplain to three presidents, a 9/11 first responder who gave last rites to hundreds of victims at Ground Zero and a healing minister who raised a woman from the dead in South America.
Great stories but all elaborate lies.
Johnson came to the Kentucky legislature in the Republican wave that took control of the state house in 2016. He was the pastor of Fire Church, trumpeted in press releases and on the Internet as a church that welcomed “real people.”
Fire Church was more of a “biker church,” according to political operative David Adams.
“There was lots of leather jackets, lots of long hair and people that if you ran into them on the street, you might have a different first impression,” Adams says.
Johnson served alcohol at his church, some of to teenagers under the drinking age and under the age of consent in Kentucky. He posted tirades comparing President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle to monkeys. He said other things that were even worse.
Maranda Richmond, a former member of Johnson’s church, says the minister sexually assaulted her in the basement of his home after a night of drinking at his home on New Year’s Eve in 2012.
Richmond says she woke up after midnight with Johnson standing over her, then stuck his tongue in her mouth and put his hands down her pants and his fingers into her vagina. She kept telling him to stop and she says he did…eventually.
Police dropped the matter until the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered the incident as part of a report on sexual acts within the state legislature. Reporters discovered sexual assault by the Republican speaker of the house, who resigned and agreed to a settlement with his victim. Three other lawmakers also settled and lost their chairmanships.
Johnson, however, denied everything but reporters investigating his claims about his past and found no evidence of him evenin being in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots or as serving as a presidential chaplain. He also was not in New York during 9/11 and was never a first responder.
Reporters also could not find any evidence of Johnson being in South America or any records of any faith healing or raising of the dead.
“This whole piece was so outrageous,” Johnson responded when asked about the stories. “It was as though I had never lived or never anything I had ever done.”
When a press conference by Johnson at his church Tuesday came to an end, a reporter asked him if had ever “raised anyone from the dead.” Johnson glared at the reporter and said “God has.”
On his facebook page Wednesday, Johnson posted claims he was suffering from “post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “It has won this life, BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME.”
Then he drove to a bridge in Mount Washington, walked to the front of his car, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
Police called it suicide. Others called it a mercy killing.
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