Johnson speaks about candidacy - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Johnson speaks about candidacy

Reduction of jail crowding, deputy retention are key campaign issues

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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 2:55 pm | Updated: 4:48 pm, Mon Jan 30, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - A former North Idaho businessman and Post Falls Chamber of Commerce board member who was involved in a high profile shooting in downtown Coeur d'Alene announced he is running for Kootenai County Sheriff.

Adam M. Johnson, 27, will seek the elected post as a Republican.

He said finding a solution to the jail capacity issue without asking taxpayers to a fund a new building is key for the county, as is trimming the sheriff's office budget while finding ways to financially incentivize deputies to remain here instead of leaving for other departments.

Johnson said his recent legal troubles - which include a citation for consuming alcohol from the December 2009 shooting and a 2011 guilty plea for felony heroin possession - don't mean he isn't serious about the job.

"I believe in what I'm doing, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it," Johnson said Monday. "How better to give back, having been on the other side?"

Johnson helped found the telecommunications business, Convertec Corp., in 2004. The business has since closed, but Johnson said he'd bring his financial experience running the company to the sheriff's office by getting grants to help pay for more cost-effective treatment programs instead of building a new jail.

Johnson does not have any experience with law enforcement. It is his first attempt at any elected post.

"The office of sheriff is largely administrative in nature," he said. "I'll learn all those positions and find a much better way to allocate resources."

A big message of his campaign will be to financially support deputies to prevent them from leaving, which would save money and improve quality in the long run. He said he could look to increase deputy training and implement more merit pay possibilities.

"That's our human capital," he said. "We need to make a decisive investment."

He said he'd brainstorm with all deputies on how facets of the office could be improved. While Johnson was in jail following the 2009 shooting, he saw many inmates without anything to do, which is why he said he's adamant about offering more rehabilitating programs. The county's work release building is one possible spot where more jail beds could go to ease jail crowding.

"If we're putting money into something without a result, that's wrong," he said.

The downtown shooting injured two men from Moses Lake, Wash. Attempted murder and aggravated battery charges against Johnson were dismissed in January 2010 by a grand jury.

During the legal troubles, Johnson lost the right to carry a concealed weapon and was placed on two years supervised probation.

Nothing in Idaho statute prevents Johnson from running for sheriff. The felony sentence has a withheld judgement, so it could be dropped from his record upon successful completion of probation.

He is single and does not have children. He said despite his legal troubles, people shouldn't view his campaign for office as anything but serious.

"This is a democratic process, and everyone has a say, including myself, somebody who has been on the wrong side of the law," he said.

Everyone has slipped up at some point, he said, "just maybe not as publicly."

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • 1voice posted at 6:27 pm on Mon, Feb 6, 2012.

    1voice Posts: 56

    Harley, I echo your sentiment. Unbelievable.

  • Opinionated Ann posted at 11:45 am on Thu, Feb 2, 2012.

    Opinionated Ann Posts: 7

    Rouge Cop & Idaho Dream : Your comments are right on.
    He has no business even thinking he could ever be Sheriff.
    It must be a joke.

  • Rogue Cop posted at 6:19 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Rogue Cop Posts: 2271

    IDAHO DREAM: It appears as though Johnson's decision was spur of the moment after he read about the forum. He doesn't appear to be someone who uses a lot of reasoning before making his decisions.

  • Rogue Cop posted at 6:13 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Rogue Cop Posts: 2271

    babydriver: "Everybody is guilty of something." First of all, not everybody is guilty of shooting people while drunk on his keester, even if it was determined it was self-defense. How many people have the bad judgement to be drunk in public, armed with a gun and being involved in a confrontation leading in two people being shot? Should that guy be a Sheriff, leading men and women in an agency that enforces laws. I've seen police chiefs get fired for drunk driving.

    How many people are heroin addicts?

    Are you serious that a guy with that background would make a good candidate for Sheriff. It's not about casting stones. It's about judgement, principles, maturity, leadership....

  • Rationale posted at 4:55 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1973


    The word here is "discernment" not judgement.

    Would you let a pedophile babysit your 8 year old daughter? If you answer "no," then are you judging?

    This guy is a career criminal, and we are supposed to believe he changed overnight?

    I'll cast the first stone at him, because I am judging based on discernment.

    2+2=4. Always has, always will.

  • babydriver posted at 3:12 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    Everybody is guilty of something. With all the laws on the books who can claim innocence?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • IDAHO DREAM posted at 2:52 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    IDAHO DREAM Posts: 18

    "Three of the four Republican candidates for Kootenai County sheriff fired off reasons this past Thursday why they are the best officer for the job.

    Bob Foster, Keith Hutcheson and Ben Wolfinger each have decades of law enforcement experience and each is vying for the department's top post"

    Where was Adam? He clearly stated he is "Serious" in the article printed above.
    If he's so "Serious" why wasnt he there to speak at the Republican forum?
    Clearly, bloggers have the same questions for Adam and his Heroin Circus of antics as I do.
    Hopefully, the CDA Press will avoid running anymore worthless stories on Adam Johnson. The recent 3 part story on his shooting was worthless journalism.

    Shame on TOM HASSLINGER Staff writer for the CDA Press for herding us around like goons.

    Coverage of Qualified Public Servants much?

  • Harley posted at 2:07 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Harley Posts: 4

    Two Questions for Mr. Johnson: Are you for real? And: "what color is the sky in YOUR world"?

  • Spikey posted at 1:32 pm on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Spikey Posts: 348

    noname, I agree. I have yet to fathom what constitutes even handed sentencing here. Note that I remarked on the 2 boys as having rich and connected daddy's. As for the embezzler, her sentence is simply a head shaker. I guess she knows more is the idiot drunk that chased another car until it crashed and killed two teenagers. He didn't even get a tap on the wrist and has been caught driving drunk again. It is as if they don't even try to do the right thing here.

  • Rogue Cop posted at 11:54 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Rogue Cop Posts: 2271

    This young man has some identity issues. He can't stand not to be in the limelight. His drug and anger problems point to a much deeper psychological problem. Instead of trying to build his life back one step at a time, he jumps into an arena that he has no qualifications for, but it'll get him notoriety.

    I feel sorry for this young fella. He has no compass.

  • lovincdalife posted at 11:53 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    lovincdalife Posts: 1

    What was it that I heard lately that resembles this....???? Oh yeah, WINNING! I'd rather see Charlie run for sherriff.....

  • aayupp posted at 10:57 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    aayupp Posts: 308

    bad boy bad boy what you gonna do -what you gonna do when they come for you. run for sheriff, of course!

  • NoName posted at 10:49 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    NoName Posts: 253

    Spikey, while your comments are valid I have seen the book thrown (very hard) at good folks for honest mistakes here in Idaho and even for "mistakes," that weren't their own! Guilt by association in Kootenai County is the norm, especially if the there's money that can be extorted out of the innocent in lieu of going to court in the form of a "settlement offer." It's the standard way of business in Idaho......

  • Spikey posted at 10:32 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Spikey Posts: 348

    Uhhhh.....when I woke this morning, I believed it was still Jan. Clearly, I pulled a Rip van Winkle and slept until April 1st. This is a joke, right?? Still, this is northern Idaho where 2 boys with priors, killed a young boy racing on a public street and received barley a tap on the wrist. Of course they were connected with rich daddy's. A public employee systematically embezzled money over a period of 10 years and received a laughable sentence. Yep, only in northern Idaho. Why am I surprised???

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 10:29 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Life is funny and sometimes the front page of the Press is hilarious, like this. Forget that this guy has had drug and weapon charges, he has zero knowledge about law enforcement, other than his own records. He actually sounds perfect for state senate and wouldn't be the first person convicted of drugs and ended up being a good old Republican. Is the withheld judgement on the heroin due to turning over connections to save his bacon? Heck, we already have one of those guys of those in office now.

  • Opinionated Ann posted at 10:28 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Opinionated Ann Posts: 7

    This must be a joke. This month he plead guilty to heroin charges. He shot two people two years ago, while drunk with a gun downtown CDA. He has a criminal past starting from the age of 14. I can't believe that all of the sudden he has changed. You people that say give him a chance and that you will be voting for him, are as looney as he is.

  • Not4sale posted at 10:21 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Not4sale Posts: 119


  • DeNiles posted at 9:29 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    I know the home where Johnson was arrested for his heroin charge. It was well understood to be 'quite the place for rowdy parties'. It was rented at the time and now it sits abused and vacant, a blight on its otherwise well kept neighborhood. I'll grant Mr. Johnson this much, he has some kind of gumption even thinking it wise to run for sheriff.

  • Rationale posted at 9:23 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1973


    Let's see: I'm innocent, but I'll plead guilty. Spoken like a person who has done time...after all, everyone in jail is innocent, right?

    His track record speaks for itself. Until he can prove a similar track record on the other side of the law over a similar period of time, he is not a changed man.

    No felon should be allowed to serve public office, period. The moral compass needs to be higher (not lower) for those who serve others.

    I want to raise the bar, you want to lower it...and Johnson needs a member of it to stay out of prison!

  • Randy Myers posted at 9:20 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    What ? You didn't just think national Republican candidates were ridiculous did you ? As far as I can see he probably has as good a platform as the other Repubs running for sheriff. I think his motto should be "Adam Johnson, Straight Shooter"

  • Tim Herzog posted at 7:55 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 353

    I'm sure Johnson has the support of the majority of the Sherriff's department....Ohh, I meant the majority of the inmates! Too bad they can't vote!

  • MeAndMyDogs posted at 7:37 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    MeAndMyDogs Posts: 5

    This makes perfect sense. He ran his last business into the ground. Put other business in jeopardy. Owed money all over the place. Skipped through the legal system without a scratch. He can't open another business, no one would trust him to not do the same thing. Can't go to work for someone else, who would hire him.

    Of course he wants to be a politician. He has all the qualifications.

  • IdahoSunshine posted at 5:08 am on Tue, Jan 31, 2012.

    IdahoSunshine Posts: 14

    Well, I think I will pass on Mr. Johnson. At least for now. Anyone is capable of change however he needs to clean up his act and stay clean. As said in previous posts his track record is what it is and he needs to prove himself more than just a few months.

  • thetruthinID posted at 11:42 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    thetruthinID Posts: 59

    First off, PLEADING guilty is a far cry from being FOUND guilty. There are a hundred reasons that one embarks on the "plea bargain" journey, not the least of which is the cost to go to trial. Its why we have the process, otherwise our judicial system, who's wheels already turn slowly, would come to a grinding halt. This is also why we have things like withheld judgements or expungement proceedings, to give first time offenders, like Johnson, a second chance. The outcome of that is wholly on that person to fly the straight and narrow and EARN that second chance.

    Secondly, the guys got a withheld judgement, that means he has not been found guilty by the court and no such entry of judgement is entered by the court unless he does something to violate his probation (other than minor indiscretions that can inevitably happen during the course of probation) and at the end of such time, the case status will actualluy show as "DISMISSED" and then all this discussion of him being "guilty" is moot anyhow.

    And since when do we hold a dismissed charge or acquittal against anyone? In the 2009 incident there wasn't even enough PROBABLE CAUSE for a trial. If a cop says he "smells" pot when he pulls you over, he has probable cause. The fact that a grand jury, again a group of citizens of this community, found that not even probable cause existed should say something about that case, yet everyone falls back on that and assigns the "guilty" label. We have courts, juries, and grand juries for a reason, so people who are not guilty of crimes cannot be arbitrarialy attacked and punished for allegations arising from opinion and conjecture. The court of public opinion in this case, however, will determine if Johnson gets anywhere close to the office of Sheriff, and that decision was totally on him to be tried by the court of public opinion in choosing to run for this office.

    More power to the guy, I'm willing to hear him out and if it seems that his ideas, plans, and objectives are in line with what I THINK I want in a Sheriff, then ill vote for the guy. Im not one of those hardline party types that votes for the person running on my party affiliation ticket just because he is of the same party. I vote for the best person for the job based on how that person appeals to how I feel on the issues.

    I just think that if we are going to go after this guy and tear him apart, it should be based on how he addresses the issues at hand pertaining to the office he is seeking. Remember Marion Barry? Just to refresh everyone's memory he was the Mayor of DC from 79-91 and while in office was arrested, tried, convicted, and served federal prison time for crack cocaine possession and GUESS WHAT, he returned to the council following his release and was RE-ELECTED mayor in 1994 even after all of that. I think its narrow minded for one to exclude this guy right off the bat just because of his realatively minor past when viewed in the bigger picture and taking into account all of the facts of those events.

    A little more that two cents worth, but hey, I had to get that off my chest.

  • Uncle Guido posted at 10:26 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Uncle Guido Posts: 46


  • Rationale posted at 9:21 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1973


    Once again, he pled guilty for heroin possession just last year...hardly looks like he's a "changed man." Sorry, it takes more than someone saying "I'm changed" to prove as much...and more time as well!

  • IChoseNID posted at 9:02 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    IChoseNID Posts: 83

    "Johnson does not have any experience with law enforcement".

    I beg to differ.....

  • lovebnamom posted at 8:27 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    lovebnamom Posts: 5

    First of all...I am NOT his mom. Second of all. I am a woman of God who knows that God has forgiven Adam and so have I. I am not going to lie and say I am NOT mad at what he has done and been in the middle of the past few years. I was very angry and dissapointed.

    When I found out he was do...I was SHOCKED. All kinds of thoughts went through my head and I did think he was crazy. BUT....if he is passionate about doing this so much to where he deals with the negativity that is thrown his way and still fights for what he wants then GO ADAM! The only way a person can prove that he/she has changed or is willing to change is to prove it right?! Well, maybe Adam will prove to all of us..including myself that he is doing what he can to become a changed man and wants to help out the community. It takes some people longer than other to snap out of dis-function and bad choices in their lives but just because some of the stuff has been recent doesn't mean we shouldn't give him a fair chance.

    He has made mistakes...YES...we all have heard and seen...but do you know the REAL ADAM. A lot of people in the community do and can say he is actually a very sweet, smart, loving, hard working and caring person...DESPITE mistakes he has recently made. Even the smart do stupid and the stupid do smart.

    MISTAKE- an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness. WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE whether we are to admit it or not.

    I am not trying to start a war with anyone on here and I am sorry ggggg to have made such a comment back to you as I did. Just some things shouldn't be said. You could really hurt a person and it seems like some comments on here are just too much. You can have an opinion but if you are smart and a good person, you will know that some things on here are just vulgar. :-(

  • Rationale posted at 7:45 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1973


    This guy is not a one time offender. Obviously, he shows a continued pattern of poor choices and trouble seems to follow him.

    He is unfit to be a sheriff, period. It's not like he made a mistake as a teenager (see CaiusCosades' comment). It's not like he stole twinkies as a kid.

    He's not even removed from his most recent run-ins with the law.
    It's ir"rationale" to think we should just sweep his recent behavior under the rug.

    New law needs to be enacted: Convicted felon=no civil/public service jobs.

  • msfred posted at 7:34 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    msfred Posts: 1

    and i think only his mother would defend his behavior such as lovebnamom is now. lol. he just may be a good candidate for sheriff. i mean - he is OBVIOUSLY a very cooperative NARC for KKSD for the past few years. he has probably been spending enough time working for the dept and thinks he may as well get paid for it since he can't keep a business running.

  • lovebnamom posted at 7:20 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    lovebnamom Posts: 5

    gggggg.....a little bitter? lol...sounds like you are on something....only an acid user would know what an acid flashback would be like or "sounds" like. grow up!

  • gggggg posted at 7:08 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    gggggg Posts: 206

    He could reduce the amount of evidence being booked into evidence by just having all drugs delivered to his desk for testing. Then he could sell what drugs he didn’t need or have room for to get the jail expansion done without taxpayer money.

    Sounds like he is either still on an acid trip or suffering from an acid flashback.

  • CaiusCosades posted at 7:04 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    CaiusCosades Posts: 378

    So I for one had a pot charge when I was 17 and because of it have basically had a scarlet letter put on me because of how easy it is to look up criminal records in idaho. It's affected me in the job market ever since, and it's really not fair. I made a mistake only with pot more than a decade ago and as a "lost" minor and still pay the heavy price for it in all aspects of my life. This state is brutal with putting a scarlet letter on someone for their past mistakes due to totally open records websites that are becoming very popular. Be aware that in most other states it's not as easy as (or free) for someone to instantly look at every mistake you've ever made on a website hosted by the state government.

    That being said, I would never ever ever even dream about running for or applying for anything with any police or sheriff's department only because I feel like that one mistake labeled me for life. I feel like I would instantly be rejected if I applied, though I have often wanted to be in law enforcement throughout my adult life. I mean I have a pot charge from almost 15 years ago as a minor and wouldn't dream of even applying for a job like this, this guy has some real cajones coming out in public like this after shooting 2 people while drunk and just coming off a heroin conviction!

  • lovebnamom posted at 6:48 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    lovebnamom Posts: 5

    Wow you guys! Give him a break. We have all made mistakes in our lives big and/or small and just because his have been more recent doesn't give you the right to talk him down. If you don't really know him than HUSH! This is something he wants to do so let him go for it and win or lose he will grow in more ways than one and continue to make the changes in his life that he needs too. I give him a lot of credit for taking this step knowing that people would think he is silly after what has the past few years. At least he has some will power to go for what he wants even if it means dealing with a lot of people who make rude comments towards the situation. Go for it Adam and don't let people talk you down. No one deserves it. Good Luck with it all and stay strong!

  • Justsayin posted at 6:41 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Justsayin Posts: 1

    This is ridiculous! The young man appears delusional which is a cause for concern for sure. What astounds me is that he was able to manipulate the the system because of his charismatic personality. My question is this, why is he still a member of the Chamber of Commerce? Better yet, what kind of example is the community setting for the young students and for the students aspiring for political careers? Scary!!

  • witness posted at 5:56 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    witness Posts: 56

    I'm waiting for Fox News to pick up this story. North Idaho gains new notoriety.

    Time to stock up on popcorn.

  • mister d posted at 5:47 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    At this time it would be a definite mistake to elect Johnson. Before he can even be taken seriously, he needs a record of clean living to demonstrate the positive change he might have made to his life.

  • aayupp posted at 4:16 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    aayupp Posts: 308

    yes- in fact he really looks electable, to me. just like mitt romney! i could not resist. suave sofisticated, nice haircut, smile. oh oh -i just love him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rationale posted at 4:10 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1973

    We, the people, need to vote to enact constitutional legislation(at both the state and federal levels) that prohibits convicted felons from being able to run for public office.

    Oh, wait. Then we'd have no Congress.

    Sorry. My bad.

  • BlakeHwy posted at 4:07 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    BlakeHwy Posts: 2

    I sure hope to see Adam Johnson at a debate would be liking going to a comedy show!

  • immortal posted at 3:31 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    immortal Posts: 258

    Makes perfect sense. If Hart can be a legislator then Johnson can be in law enforcement. Honestly, though. This guy HAS to be a few cards short.

  • IDAHO DREAM posted at 3:29 pm on Mon, Jan 30, 2012.

    IDAHO DREAM Posts: 18

    "Johnson said his recent legal troubles - which include a citation for consuming alcohol from the December 2009 shooting and a 2011 guilty plea for felony heroin possession - don't mean he isn't serious about the job."

    Let me get this straight, Adam Johnson, a 27 yr old man who was recently sentenced for Felony Possession of Heroin- is running for KKSD Sheriff?

    This article should have been located in the funnies section.

    Adam Johnson = FAIL

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