(08/25/2002)
Laura Young, a new special prosecutor from Kanawha County, will be handing a case against former Calhoun Magistrate Steve Johnson, according to the Kanawha County Prosecutor's office. The Supreme Court case alleges problems with money in Johnson's office, in what they described as a violation of public trust.

Young is replacing prosecutor Robert William Schulenberg III. It was unclear why Schulenberg is no longer on the case.

The Johnson case is on the Circuit Court docket in Grantsville for 11:30 a.m. Monday before Judge David W. Nibert, in what appears to be a plea bargain situation styled "plea on information." Johnson is represented by attorney David Karickhoff.

The case began last October after allegations surfaced regarding financial improprieties. Johnson then resigned and moved to South Carolina.

The case, which has been postponed several times, has not been brought before a Grand Jury, and Johnson has not been indicted.

Court officials have indicated if a plea arrangement is not accepted, an indictment could be forthcoming.

The Supreme Court had the West Virginia Auditor's office do a special audit which cost $27,000. That audit reportedly indicates problems related to embezzlement or misappropriation of an undetermined amount.

The Supreme Court's audit questioned several inappropriate management problems linked to Johnson's office.

Calhoun Prosecutor Tony Morgan and Judge Tom Evans III have recused themselves from the case.


Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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