Dallas County DA dismisses charges against former Hutchins City officials
The Dallas County district attorney’s office has dismissed criminal charges against former Hutchins Mayor Artis Johnson and nine former city employees who were indicted earlier this year following a public corruption investigation.
City officials said they didn’t know why the charges were dismissed on Dec. 18. The DA’s motion to dismiss the charges says only that it was “in the interest of justice.”
The DA’s office had no comment. Russell Wilson, who heads the office’s public integrity unit, said prosecutors “have the discretion to dismiss cases when there are problems with a case that makes pursuing a prosecution unwarranted.”
Johnson, 64, and seven current and former public works employees were accused of selling city-owned scrap metal such as pipes and meters to recyclers since 2008 and then pocketing the money, which came to more than $25,000.
They were charged in April with engaging in organized criminal activity. Johnson, who left office in May after 14 years as mayor, also was charged with abuse of official capacity.
Johnson said Monday that he had never before been accused of wrongdoing during his tenure at the city, which included seven years on the City Council. He said he reimbursed the city for scrap metal when he found out there were questions about it.