03/10/04 — DOC employee charged

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DOC employee charged

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 10, 2004 2:01 PM

Another Wayne County resident who worked for the state Department of Correction has been accused of falsifying travel expense reports.

Benny K. Johnson, 46, of Carolina Street, Dudley, was charged by the State Bureau of Investigation with obtaining property by false pretense, a felony. He was accused of getting $5,213 in travel expenses, according to a Wake County deputy court clerk.

Johnson, who was an instructor for the department, declined comment about the charge, except to say he was hopeful of being cleared. He left the department on Jan. 24, 2003. He has also served as an unpaid Wayne County part-time deputy sheriff.

The alleged offense occurred Jan. 11, 1998, and the summons was not issued until more than six years later, on Feb. 25, the same day that he was served. He was released from custody on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

Johnson's next court date was scheduled for March 17.

Sheriff Carey Winders said Tuesday that he has not seen any paperwork or been notified about Johnson's case.

But the sheriff said Johnson was suspended until the case was resolved. Johnson had served papers for his office and was paid only for the papers that he served.

Winders said he would hold Johnson's certification as a law-enforcement officer pending the outcome of the case.

"He feels confident that he did nothing wrong," the sheriff said of Johnson. "He explained the situation to us. But he can't serve any more papers. His status is pending."

The charge against Johnson was similar to the one against Goldsboro Councilman William Goodman. Goodman also was charged with falsifying expense reports between 1998 and 2002 while employed with the Department of Correction. Goodman resigned from the department after the allegations surfaced.