Lawmakers react to Rep. Dan Johnson’s suicide
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- The shock over State Representative Dan Johnson’s death continues to spread as people across the commonwealth, including lawmakers in Frankfort, react to the news.
Thursday morning, Governor Matt Bevin tweeted a statement calling for people to respect Johnson’s family and friends and keep what he called “all the nasty, vulgar comments” in regards to Johnson’s suicide to themselves.
According to the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson shot and killed himself on a bridge in Mount Washington Wednesday night.
His suicide comes the same week as a report alleging he had a past filled with lies and crime including molesting a teenage girl.
In the wake of Rep. Johnson’s suicide, countless politicians have spoken out offering their condolences to his family and looking to God for guidance in what Governor Bevin called “heavy days in Frankfort and in America.”
But before his suicide Wednesday night, the tone was quite different as Johnson faced searing allegations that he molested a teenage girl, a member of his church, back in 2013.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published the accusations Monday.
The report alleged Johnson forcibly kissed and touched the teen while she was at a sleepover with his daughter.
It also traced a pattern of lies, saying Johnson’s claims that he helped victims of the 1991 LA riots and the September 11th terrorist attacks were false.
Instead, the center writes Johnson’s true past was filled with crimes involving alcohol and arson.
The multi-page report prompted lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to call for Johnson’s resignation but in a press conference on Tuesday he denied the allegations vehemently.
Hours after his statement however, Louisville police confirmed they had reopened their investigation into Johnson’s alleged molestation.
Then just over 24-hours later, Johnson posted an apparent suicide note to his Facebook page writing, “PTSD… Is a sickness that will take my life. It has won this life. But heaven is my home.”
Soon after, police found Johnson’s body.
Now all eyes turn back to Frankfort where a special election will be scheduled to elect Johnson’s replacement.