Jackie Johnson's Culture Of Corruption
“The one who lives with integrity lives securely, but whoever perverts his ways will be found out.” -Proverbs 10:9
District Attorney (D.A.) Jackie Johnson is an old-school politician with a ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’ mentality. Scandals within Jackie’s political circle are handled in-house by political hacks and swept under the rug with spectacular efficiency. Jackie rules her domain with tight control and an iron fist. She is the ultimate behind-the-scenes mafia queen.
For nearly ten years, D.A. Jackie Johnson has been able to hide behind her smile and high conviction rate. She has schmoozed key news media figures, effectively shaping the political narrative to her advantage. Only those who’ve posed a threat of exposure to Jackie have seen the truth beneath her mask. And in doing so, they sealed their fate.
What form of retaliation does she take?
For the private citizen, it’s the intentional delay of legal proceedings. Starting legal fees for a defendant with a felony charge can range from $2000 up to $25,000, and the expenditures only increase from there. Meanwhile, it costs D.A. Jackie Johnson nothing to drag the proceedings out. Jackie relies on taxpayer funding to carry out her misdeeds. In many cases, innocent defendants run out of money long before their cases go to trial. Then, out of desperation, they agree to plea bargains to make the physical, emotional, and financial drain stop.
This is a win-win for D.A. Jackie Johnson.
Jackie financially ruins those who pose a risk to her political ambitions. She coerces innocent people into accepting plea bargains instead of pleading innocent. In doing so, D.A. Jackie Johnson has created a chilled environment where people are afraid to speak against her for fear of retaliation. The worst part is that the only ones aware of her exploitation are her victims—the poor souls that no one will ever believe because, in the court of public opinion, they are guilty until proven innocent. Besides, she’s the “honorable” district attorney, who would dare to question her motives?
District Attorney Jackie Johnson deals with private citizens through fear and intimidation. But does she employ the same tactics against those who work for the state?
At the start of her career, D.A. Jackie Johnson ousted four prosecutors who disagreed with her handling of the Caroline Small’s murder. Other than that, Jackie has bent over backward, bent the rules of ethics, and bent the law to protect the police departments, sheriff’s departments, and fellow lawyers and politicians from their own misdeeds.
That is, up until about two years ago.
If you’ve been wondering what our series on D.A. Jackie Johnson has been leading up to, well, here is a quick synopsis.
Something changed in D.A. Jackie Johnson’s dynamic with the Glynn County Police Department in 2018, and we intend to expose it. D.A. Jackie Johnson’s war on police was always more about covering her own corruption than exposing theirs. Despite the narrative Jackie has sold the public, the Glynn County Police Department is not the only office in need of investigation.
In preparation for Part 2b and Part 3 of our series on D.A. Jackie Johnson, we’d like to introduce you to a few key players in District Attorney’s office. You will see how Jackie pulled a chunk of the pre-2018 corruption from the police department and dragged it into her own camp. Then we will expose a few relevant facts that it would behoove the government and the media to investigate in the District Attorney’s office.
Former Police Chief Matt Doering:
Matt Doering was the Glynn County Police Chief from 2003 until September 2017, then he sadly passed away in 2019. While we do not wish to besmirch his memory, this tale would be incomplete without including his part.
Most of what we know about former Police Chief Matt Doering is anecdotal. Matt Doering was well-liked and ran the police department under the ‘good ole boy’ system. While this system worked for some, it did not work so well for others.
Some employees have claimed that sexual harassment was not taken seriously by former Police Chief Matt Doering. There were reports of females who were suddenly fired after making complaints. Unfortunately, these women never got their day in court, because no attorney in the county would hear them out, possibly out of concern for D.A. Jackie Johnson’s reprisal, and it was too costly to hire a lawyer from outside the area.
Despite his shortcomings, former Police Chief Matt Doering did expect his officers to do their job. But when mistakes were made, Doering prioritized saving the department’s reputation over exposing the truth. Doering was protective of his officers and his department, sometimes at the expense of the public. While Doering’s style of leadership made for loyal employees, it also gave leeway to the few bad apples amongst the group, such as Cory Sasser, and Marissa and Tommy Tindale.
Matt Doering’s in-house approach to dealing with misconduct matched D.A. Jackie Johnson’s and was a major reason for Jackie’s support of the police department from 2010 until 2017.
Marissa Tindale became an investigator for D.A. Jackie Johnson in 2019 after she retired from the Glynn County Police Department.
From 2018-2019, Marissa served as Captain of Narcotics for the Glynn County Police Department—(GBNET). Prior to that, Marissa was the Captain of Criminal Investigations.
What’s interesting about Marissa Tindale is that her husband, Tommy Tindale, also worked for the Glynn County Police Department and was in charge of Internal Affairs. In this position, Tommy Tindale provided assistance to D.A. Jackie Johnson during the Cory Sasser investigation and Caroline Small shooting. Tommy Tindale had the authority to direct internal investigations as needed or directed.
For quite some time, the Tindales (Marissa and Tommy) comprised 50% of the command structure of the Glynn County Police Department. Between the two of them, they would’ve been privy to everything that happened in the department. They would have known about any corruption or mishandling at basically every level.
Think of it this way, Marissa’s division was responsible for investigating crimes within the county, and her husband’s division was responsible for investigating officer misconduct.
A conflict of interest? Sure seems like it.
During the GBNET scandal, which has been publicly touted as an excellent reason to abolish the Glynn County Police Department, it was never mentioned that Marissa Tindale, D.A. Jackie Johnson’s current employee, was the Captain of Narcotics at the time.
Another scandal being pushed to support D.A. Jackie Johnson’s war on police has been the loss of the police department’s certification. Jackie and the media haven’t told you that Tommy Tindale, Marissa’s husband, was the certification manager at the Glynn County Police Department. It was Tommy’s job to ensure everything was in proper order to maintain that certification. Still, when renewal time came, and it was apparent that things had been mishandled, Tommy Tindale suddenly retired.
If the probability of corruption isn’t already apparent, take a look at the texts of Marissa Tindale and Cory Sasser the night of his standoff with law enforcement. Marissa Tindale was the negotiator on the phone with Cory the night of May 17, 2018. What is interesting about these texts has nothing to do with what they say, and everything to do with what they don’t say.
It appears that a string of texts were deleted from Marissa’s side of the conversation. But what would Marissa Tindale have discussed with Cory Sasser that she didn’t want known? What questions had Marissa posed to Cory that were so secretive that she removed them from evidence?
What was Marissa Tindale hiding?
It was no surprise that Marissa Tindale took a job with D.A. Jackie Johnson. Corruption attracts corruption. So when former Police Chief Matt Doering retired in September 2017, and then Cory Sasser committed suicide and Tommy Tindale retired in 2018, it was only natural that Marissa left the department to work for District Attorney Jackie Johnson.
With such a massive chunk of the corruption that had been infecting the Glynn County Police Department gone, it appeared that the department finally had a clean slate.
What went wrong? If the corruption was removed, why are all these police scandals blazing the headlines?
Would you believe it was because of District Attorney Jackie Johnson?
Liberty Stewart is an Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A) for D.A. Jackie Johnson. From what the Baxley Informer has been told, Liberty is basically Jackie’s right-hand woman.
As previously stated, corruption attracts corruption. But it also breeds it. By their constant misconduct, bosses like D.A. Jackie Johnson corrupt the most innocent of employees.
It’s called a culture of corruption.
But not all the eggs in that bunch have spoiled. Some have been disgusted by what’s been allowed to happen, and once you cross that line, people start talking. This is a fact that D.A. Jackie Johnson should’ve kept in mind before doling out so many political favors.
And that brings up another topic—Billy Reid Zeh III. Specifically, GCPD Case Number G19-47743.
Despite his married status, the affair between defense attorney Whitney Johnson and public defender Reid Zeh was common knowledge among law enforcement and the legal circle in Glynn County.
Reid Zeh had viciously beaten a man he’d caught having dinner with Whitney. In a fit of jealousy, Zeh physically attacked the man, grabbing him from behind, throwing him on the floor, and then kicking him repeatedly. Video footage of this attack was caught on the restaurant security video, and warrants were issued for Zeh’s arrest.
Multiple reports were filed on Reid Zeh for his abuse against Whitney Johnson during their relationship. Reid and Whitney had lived together for two months while Reid Zeh was separated from his wife. During that time, he’d choked Whitney multiple times, thrown her in a closet, and ripped her cabinets off the wall. Reid Zeh also threatened to kill Whitney Johnson if she refused to testify falsely in his child custody dispute.
Then on August 19, 2019, while entering the Federal courthouse, Whitney Johnson spoke with a court security officer and removed her sunglasses, revealing two black eyes. When questioned, Whitney told the officer that she and Zeh had gotten into another fight. Later that day, Glynn County Police Officers met with Whitney Johnson to investigate and file a report. During their investigation, Whitney admitted to handing over a home video surveillance of the attack to A.D.A. Liberty Stewart.
It was quickly discovered that there wasn’t only one video, there were many, and A.D.A. Liberty Stewart had been in possession of them for quite some time.
Why does this matter?
At the beginning of 2019, the state of Georgia made changes to how it dealt with domestic violence. Law enforcement, and other mandated reporters, are now required to provide the victim with a victim’s rights brochure, they must investigate to determine who the primary aggressor was, complete a field report, send documentation of the event to the GBI, and most importantly, fill out a family violence report.
District Attorneys and their Assistants are the chief law enforcement officials in their jurisdiction. As such, they are required by Georgia Law to file these reports. A.D.A. Liberty Stewart had not done that. She held on to those videos, evidence of extremely violent acts, and never filed a family violence report.
A.D.A. Liberty Stewart and the District Attorney’s office were familiar with Zeh’s previously mentioned acts against Whitney Johnson. They were well aware that Whitney Johnson and Reid Zeh’s savage relationship would fall under the classification of ‘family violence.’
Liberty Stewart was legally required to report Reid Zeh. Liberty was also D.A. Jackie Johnson’s employee. If Jackie knew that Liberty intentionally didn’t report Reid Zeh for family violence, and did not take disciplinary action, Jackie was an accomplice to that failure.
If Jackie wasn’t aware of the assault on Whitney Johnson, then she certainly learned about it when the Glynn County Police Department requested the videos from Jackie’s office and discussed additional criminal charges.
D.A. Jackie Johnson violated her oath of office, and this wasn’t the first time.
By failing to take action against Liberty Stewart, D.A. Jackie Johnson was not being impartial and therefore was in violation of her oath.
Anyone who’s watched the news recently has heard of Greg McMichael. Greg was another of D.A. Jackie Johnson’s investigators. Greg McMichael made the news earlier this year when he and his son, Travis McMichael, pursued and killed Ahmaud Arbery.
Greg McMichael’s arrest powers were suspended from 2006 until 2014, and then again at the beginning of 2019.
According to the above document, on June 17, 2014, D.A. Jackie Johnson and her investigator, Mark Melton (Appling County’s current sheriff), appealed to the P.O.S.T. Council on McMichael’s behalf.
Interestingly, the year before Jackie and Mark appealed to the P.O.S.T Council, Greg McMichael was sworn in as a deputy sheriff by Sheriff Neal Jump.
Why did Sheriff Jump make Greg McMichael a deputy sheriff without verifying that his P.O.S.T certification was up-to-date? The sheriff is required to maintain his deputy’s training and records. Was this oversight another political favor to D.A. Jackie Johnson?
After Greg McMichael and his son murdered Ahmaud Arbery, District Attorney Jackie Johnson should have removed herself from the situation. She should not have stopped the arrest of Travis and Greg McMichael. And she should have notified the Attorney General to appoint an unbiased prosecutor to cover the case immediately.
D.A. Jackie Johnson did none of these things. You can view the documentation showing that here.
District Attorney Jackie Johnson has ignored the ‘impartially’ portion of her oath, again, and is in violation of her oath of office.
The McMichaels’ case is only one of many indiscretions that have taken place within District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office in the last decade.
At some point, the government needs to step in and address her constant abuse of power.
Part 2b: Conclusion of the Cory Sasser murder/suicide, and the start of Jackie’s vendetta against the Glynn County Police Department.
Part 3: GBNET-Jackie’s devious plan to use one man's unethical acts to silence her adversaries.