Former solicitor Dan Johnson and former communications director granted $25 Thousand bail

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)– An audit shows thousands of dollars used for personal reasons but on the taxpayers’ dime. Former fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson and one of his directors came before a judge for the first time.

Very few words were said by the defendants themselves as they faced Judge Clifton Newman. Former fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson faces misconduct in office charges along with the embezzlement allegations by the state, and more than a dozen federal charges. His director of communications Nicole Holland is charged with embezzlement by the state.

According to the audit obtained ABC Columbia, more than 150-thousand documents were reviewed and the auditor claims Johnson and Holland used state funds for several personal purchases. The audit shows Johnson used funds for stays at the Hilton Columbia Center, a trip to the Galapagos Islands, and several purchases that were unreceipted.

The audit shows Holland spent thousands of dollars on hotel bills for family, airfare for her and her sister, and even dental work she had done in Kentucky– but labeled it as “Tournament sponsorship”.

“Personal expenses that Mrs. Holland charged to a solicitors office issued credit card. These are expenses that were in no way related to her position working with the solicitor’s office, so there was embezzlement for using the card in the first place. Further, those were paid by funds from the forfeiture account violate the statute,” Josh Underwood said, the senior assistant Attorney General. 

The judge issued both Johnson and Holland $25-thousand dollar bond and while there are conditions, neither of them will be on house arrest or required to wear a GPS monitor.

“He is to surrender his passport, he is not to leave the state without permission from the court except for his military obligations,” Judge Clifton Newman said. 

Both Johnson and Holland have been suspended from their duties, and Johnson lost the nomination vote for November. Again, Johnson is also facing dozens of federal charges, we’ll keep you updated on the latest. 

Categories: Local News, News, Politics, Richland