Four Years Later, Green Country Officer Vindicated

Friday, September 16th 2011, 7:38 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

UNDATED -- A Green Country officer says when he tried to do the right thing, he was fired and his reputation trashed. Clint Johnson has been trying to clear his name for 4 years and says he did so this week.

Johnson ran a drug task force for Richard Gray, the DA for Adair, Cherokee, Wagoner and Sequoyah Counties.

Gray was later indicted when over $8,800 in seized drug money went missing. Johnson was a key witness against Gray at the grand jury and later at trial.

Johnson was fired and Gray's attorney claimed Johnson was a liar and the one who controlled the money. The case against Gray was later dismissed by a judge.

Clint sued for wrongful termination and four years later, victory.

"Ecstatic, excited the truth finally got told, that it was proved he was wrong and I was right," Johnson said.

After being fired, he got jobs right away. He first went to work for Adair county, then trained police officers in Iraq for two years where he was injured.

Johnson said he knew once a jury heard the whole story, the truth would come out.

"To me, it means everything. This wasn't about money; it was about getting my name back. I'm tired of being accused of things, of being Clint did this, Clint did that, it was about my reputation," he said.

He hopes this will make other elected officials realize they can't throw around unfounded accusations or punish people for doing what's right.

He said he respects the badge and his oath too much to ever look the other way.

"No, I'm happy. I'd do nothing different, if I had to go through it again, I'd go right through it again," he said.

The jury did give Johnson $2,500, which was the pay he lost between getting fired and getting his next job.

Gray's attorney says Johnson is reading far more into the verdict and it's easy to say it's not about money. But Clint asked for $20,000 in actual damages, plus punitive damages.

He says since the jury rejected both those requests, Gray views that the jury rejected most of Johnson's assertions.