Houston County prosecutor faces ethics charges

Houston County Assistant District Attorney Mark Johnson is turned himself into authorities today after a grand jury indicted him on multiple charges, according to sources with knowledge.
Mark Johnson (L) turns himself into the Houston County Jail, accompanied by attorney Dustin Fowler. Photo from October 6, 2022.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:44 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Houston County Assistant District Attorney Mark Johnson turned himself into the Houston County Jail before noon Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on six criminal ethics violations.

He faces six counts of Soliciting For The Purpose Of Corruptly Influencing Official Action, though specific allegations have not been made public.

Watch video of Mark Johnson turning himself into the jail above this story.

The beleaguered prosecutor has been the target of a lengthy criminal investigation triggered by his online tryst with Jamie Connolly, a drug suspect that he would have prosecuted.

Already facing Houston County charges, a drug task force arrested her in Dale County and, frustrated that she had no bond, she blew the whistle on Johnson.

In a letter written to Houston County judicial officials, Connolly detailed their cyber tryst that included sexual insinuations.

While the two talked of a rendezvous there is no indication they met in person, something that Connolly confirmed to News 4.

What is not apparent is if Johnson, who is married, knew that she was on his docket because Connolly used the first name “Jazz,” instead of Jamie as her Facebook moniker.

Regardless, the investigation expanded to other women who claim that he had been inappropriate with them.

Prosecutor suspended due to online messages he sent to woman

One complained about his behavior over two years ago, but according to 20th Circuit District Attorney Pat Jones that claim could not be substantiated.

Several women may have testified before the grand jury two weeks ago.

After Connolly’s allegations were exposed by WTVY, Johnson was placed on administrative leave and, by February, found himself the target of a joint FBI and Alabama Attorney General investigation.

Agents made several trips to the Houston County Courthouse where they searched Johnson’s office and confiscated electronics.

He never went back to work yet continues to receive his $7300 monthly salary.

Jones, who lost his reelection bid amid the scandal, said he cannot comment until after the case is placed into public records.

The indictments are state charges, but federal charges are also possible, and Johnson could lose his Alabama law license.

His attorney, Dustin Fowler, declined comment until he can review the indictments.

Johnson posted bond and was released.

Connolly’s Dale County charges have been dismissed but her Houston County cases are still pending.

The state attorney general’s office is handling that prosecution and a special judge has been appointed to preside after all local judges recused.

This story has been updated to reflect current information.

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