Susan Hardee Steger
“There are many red flags out there,” says Gary Baker, attorney representing County Commission board chair Stacy Johnson, as he commented on Commissioner Johnson’s DUI arrest.
Those red flags on the police report, according to Baker, range from a previous highly publicized tiff with Sheriff Tommy Seagraves, to a Nassau County Sheriff’s Office volunteer’s involvement, to the sheriff’s deputy not stopping Commissioner Johnson until she was in the driveway of her home. “Now, if she [Stacy Johnson} was endangering other motorists on the highway as the police report said, you get the impaired person off the road. There could be many reasons why someone might cross the white lines or run off the road.”
Regarding field sobriety tests that Commissioner Johnson refused, Baker said, “They are very subjective.” Had Commissioner Johnson contacted her attorney, says Baker, “I would have advised her to avoid the sobriety tests.”
When asked if Commissioner Johnson had a breathalyzer test while detained, attorney Baker said, “No, and she [Johnson] was never told her license could be suspended for a year for refusing that test.”
Baker remarked, “What her [Commissioner Johnson’s] friends will say is that she was fine when she left, and if she were not okay, they would not have let her drive. When I spoke to her she sounded fine.”
When asked if Attorney Baker thought the arrest was a setup, Baker said, “I am not willing to say that yet. This just happened.”
Johnson was scheduled to meet with Baker Tuesday morning. Asked if Johnson will resign, Baker said, “We will talk about that. If she resigns, it makes her look guilty. She is like me in that we want to fight for what is right. We will talk to see if it is worth it for her and her family.”
In the meantime, county commissioners are headed to Orlando to attend the annual Florida Association of Counties conference. It is not known if Commissioner Johnson will attend. The next regular County Commission meeting is scheduled on Monday, June 25.
June 19, 2012 2:48 p.m.