The Canal Winchester Times

Officer's arrest followed two-month investigation

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Unbeknownst to a Madison Township police officer and his wife, Hilliard police were watching their home in the Davidson Run subdivision for about two months.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 25, Timothy W. Johnson, 56, left his residence to report to work at the Madison Township Police Department.

A short time later, about 6:30 a.m., Hilliard police executed a search warrant at the residence at 3796 Stonesthrow Court E. and found about 1,000 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a yet-to-be tested substance believed to be cocaine, Hilliard Deputy Chief Bobby Fisher said.

The substance has been sent to a lab for testing, Fisher said.

"There was also evidence that drug abuse had occurred in the house," officer Hyda Slone said.

A cache of prescription drugs also was seized.

Fisher would not comment on whether any of the substances found at the residence were being sold.

Wendy M. Johnson, 50, was arrested at her home. Her husband was arrested at the Madison Township Police Department, Hilliard police said.

Timothy and Wendy Johnson are each charged with one count of possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

As the investigation unfolds, additional charges against the Johnsons, as well as new charges against other individuals, are possible, Fisher said.

The Johnsons were arraigned June 26 in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Judge David Tyack released both defendants on a recognizance bond and both are scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m. July 10 in Municipal Court.

"We started an investigation about two months ago, based on a tip," Fisher said.

Because of the open investigation, Fisher would not divulge the origin of the tip or police activity during the investigation that led to the search warrant.

Madison Township police were not aware Hilliard police were investigating the Johnsons until Hilliard informed Madison Township as Timothy Johnson was en route to work June 25, Fisher said.

Hilliard police described Wendy Johnson as "not polite" as officers took her into custody, but the behavior did not warrant any additional charges. Timothy Johnson was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said Johnson was immediately placed on paid administrative leave until the township's internal investigation and hearing process can be completed.

Trustees held a special meeting Friday, June 27, and voted unanimously to file charges against Johnson for multiple alleged "violations of the police department's rules and regulations."

Those alleged violations include failure to obey laws and ordinances; violations of rules and department directives; malfeasance, nonfeasance and failure of good behavior (cause for dismissal); unbecoming conduct; and drugs and alcohol.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, July 14, at the Madison Township Community Center, 4575 Madison Lane.

"Basically, we'll have to leave him on paid administrative leave until we can complete our hearing process, which will have to go before our board," Brobst said. "This process is separate from the criminal investigation underway by Hilliard, but also isn't likely going to be completed immediately."

The township is already dealing with the unexpected death last week of Police Chief Michael Ratliff, and Brobst said the loss of another patrolman is going to put a strain on township resources.

"Due to the passing of Chief Ratliff, we already had shifted some officers around, including Sgt. Donald Skinner, who is still working patrol as he is able while also taking on the captain duties," she said. "So now we're down a complete extra officer on A company, which is going to put a real strain on our guys to fill in."

According to Madison Township police, Johnson has been a full-time officer since April 1998.

Wendy Johnson works at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, Slone said.

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