DA's office plans to keep Johnson case

Former police detective makes 1st court appearance

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Tausha Merwin

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Ken Johnson

Elizabeth Oldham, 14th Judicial District Attorney, said her office does not plan to seek a special prosecutor to handle the case against a former Craig police detective facing felony charges.

Ken Johnson, a police department veteran, worked closely with prosecutors on various cases until he resigned from his position Sept. 8.

Oldham's decision does not preclude the Johnson defense from contesting her office handling the case.

Johnson made his first appearance Tuesday morning in Moffat County Court, along with Tausha Merwin, a local woman Johnson suspectedly had an improper relationship with during his time as a police officer.

Johnson and Merwin were arrested Sept. 29 after an investigation by the District Attorney's Office. They were formally charged Oct. 2.

Johnson is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; accessory to crime, a Class 5 felony; and embezzlement of public property, also a Class 5 felony.

Merwin is charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony.

The two sat together and talked in court Tuesday.

Johnson's case was heard first out of about 20 defendants, but he stayed another 30 minutes until Merwin's appearance finished.

Johnson, who is represented by Steamboat Springs attorney Larry Combs, was allowed to modify his bond from $10,000 down to personal recognizance, which has no cost.

He also will be allowed to travel out of the state on a daily basis for work.

The District Attorney's Office did not object to either request. Johnson signed a waiver of extradition before appearing in court, meaning he will not contest extradition back to Moffat County if he is found outside the area.

Johnson's case was continued to 11 a.m. Nov. 13.

Merwin said she does not have an attorney. Her case was continued to 2 p.m. Oct. 27.

Johnson is suspected of providing Merwin with information about ongoing law enforcement investigations and the names of confidential informants while they were sexually involved in 2008 and 2009.

Johnson also was a member of the All Crimes Enforcement Team, an area drug task force, during parts of their relationship.

According to arrest warrant affidavits filed against Johnson and Merwin, there is evidence to suggest she used Johnson's information to tip off other residents involved in the local drug trade.

The affidavit states there is no evidence Johnson knew Merwin was sharing his information, but there is evidence he knew she was associating with known drug offenders.

In addition, Johnson is suspected of helping Merwin violate the terms of her probation, first for possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, and then for distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance.

Johnson also is suspected to have given Merwin a laptop computer and other electronic equipment owned by law enforcement.

Both are suspected of lying to Craig police officials during a March internal investigation into Johnson's behavior and his relationship with Merwin.

The Police Department's investigation was inconclusive, but officials suspended Johnson for a time without pay for using a police vehicle to drive Merwin around town.

Comments

justmyview84 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree with you on that. I think there is more than one cover up going on and Mr. Johnson and Ms. Merwin are the ones taking the fall for it. That doesn't mean I am sticking up for them, but I don't agree with them having to go through all this when there is obviously more people who either knew and should be investigated, or who helped in the cover up. It doesn't matter if they just didn't want to believe that the situation with Johnson and Merwin was going on, or didn't want to deal with it.. What's important is we need people in those positions that we can trust, and believe. This discredits a lot of people that we were suppose to believe in. If someone in Mr. Johnson's position got away with having the relationship with Ms. Merwin for that long, people knew and it should have been stopped Before it got out of hand. I believe that it could have been, and should have been and now it's a circus. Makes a person wonder if they can trust the ones who had the authority over him.

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slipknot 4 years, 6 months ago

'tis indeed a sorry state of 'affairs'. Oh' I just kill me. Sorry I couldn't pass that one by. You have no idea what's going on in your little berg. If you did you'd probably be sick and ashamed of your local LEO's and the DFS or whatever they call it in Colorado with children and family welfare protection. I often wonder who is really being protected, whos' rights are being enforced and who is supposed to be doing the protecting and enforcing. I promised I would not be critical any more only supportive. Sometimes it's really tough.

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tirednco 4 years, 6 months ago

OK since I am not allowed to dare say anything of truth on this, I will say my opinion. Craig is pathetic and the cover ups going on are rediculous!!!!!! The people that are being protected are people that are treating your children for illness. Do you really want to trust this kind of person with you or your childs health. The truth will come out!! (If it does not then Craig is truly a corrupt place)

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slipknot 4 years, 6 months ago

tirednco: I think that your statements of opinion are just like mine. I too have had comments stricken from this forum for the hot truth but, from experience that is not what is wanted here at least the cold hard version. We have to temper it, warm it a little make it a bit more palatable(sp). I can tell from reading you, you think alot like I do, Only my patience ran thin about about 15 years back and I felt it was best to take my family and leave Craig and Moffat County while it was in the mid stages of moral and social decline. So far I've not been proved wrong, my fore sight was much better than 20-20 hindsite. Governments operate in cycles and if you observe long enough you can see the cycle set itself up and then watch it decline and watch the decline of the moral proclivities of law enforcement along with the special programs they've set to police themselves. Call me paranoid but in MoCo who is trustworthy enough to watch the watchers? You have at least one of the same county commissioners in place you had back then, what does that tell you?

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Tmerwin 4 years, 6 months ago

whoa, you who judge so quickly. Doesn't anybody see that they picked out little bits of what they wanted to the public to focus on and left the rest out. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?.......Oh, Im sorry, that only applys when its you right? No one knows what has really happened here. And to justmyview84, your completely right. Im going to quote the glorious inv. Joe D' Angelo when he kept saying "sometimes the cover up is worse than the crime" He should listen close to his own words. I hope he thinks back real hard of all his actions because he and a hand full more might one day face there day of public shame. So rally up your vigilante groups, get your pitch forks, and light your torches. I speak for myself and for Ken Johnson, We are not anybodys trophy. Only narrow minded people who have gotten all caught up in this are the ones who believe everything you read, Dont give a damn to wait to see what comes of this, and belive that all the investigators, law enforcement, and public figures working on this case walk on water. We should be able to trust that these people who enforce the laws actually abide by them. But They are no more holy than you. The only catch is they are at the top of the totem pole and they cover each others behinds. Who investigates the investigators???

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Joanna Hatten 4 years, 6 months ago

Tmerwin....seriously! Do you and your "boyfriend" have ANY idea the amount of money you are, and will be, costing this county? I am just a citizen who was curious of the facts. I read the affidavit on the internet and you two should be ashamed. Your sex-capades are your own busines..all though you do seem to have been busy with many "adventures". GROSS!! I could give a crap less who...and how many...you sleep with. What ticks me off is how blatant and disrespectful you two were. Not to mention the lives you jeopardized by revealing informants names. I am a firm believer in live and let live but you two have total disreguard for this community. The same community who gave YOU a second chance and the same community who looked up to Mr. Johnson. A community that I have no doubt is paying for your attorney!!! Ironic that you have no reguard for anyone but yourself but will be glad to accept an attorney from this community. As far as being someones "trophy"....don't flatter yourselves. You two deserve eachother. So before you go accusing this community of wielding torches and pitch forks....why don't both of you stop and take a little credit for what YOU have created. I don't always believe law enforcement but I can tell you that your texts were pretty convincing. NASTY!

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cag81625 4 years, 6 months ago

TMerwin said, "Who investigates the investigators???"

You will be finding out soon enough.

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Joanna Hatten 4 years, 5 months ago

Hey TMerwin!!!! I was right!!! Our pitch fork bearing .... torch lighting community is supplying you an attorney!!!

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