SACRAMENTO — It should have been a high point in a career of high points: the premiere of a documentary chronicling how Kevin Johnson, the former N.B.A. All Star who as mayor helped rejuvenate this once ailing capital city, kept the Sacramento Kings from leaving for Seattle with a gleaming new basketball arena.
But hours before the premiere last week, the ESPN network, which produced the documentary, “Down in the Valley,” announced it would delay indefinitely the national release of the film. The network cited the re-emergence of an issue that has shadowed Mr. Johnson since his first campaign in 2008: A claim by a 16-year-old girl that he sexually abused her 20 years ago while he played for the Phoenix Suns....Mr. Johnson has repeatedly denied the accusation and made no mention of it in his statement. In an interview on Friday, he asserted that the case was being dredged up by his opponents — including the teachers’ union, with which he has battled over the years — to hurt him politically.“There are no truth to the allegations,” he said. “If you go back 20 years ago, they were investigated. Law enforcement obviously didn’t feel there was merit there. For me I’ve just tried to move on and go forward.”The Phoenix Police Department investigated the claim but closed the case without filing charges. Mr. Johnson entered a draft settlement which included a $230,000 payment to his accuser. The mayor declined to comment when asked why, if the charges were unfounded, he had agreed to make a payout.What is different this time is a videotape of a police interview in which the girl, speaking in a calm voice, describes in disconcerting detail what she said Mr. Johnson did to her, including fondling and undressing her. The release of the video, posted on Deadspin, a website devoted to sports news, put a young and vulnerable voice to claims that until now had been only a detached account found in court filings.“People have so desperately wanted to believe in him that they’ve given him a pass on a lot of things, and I think that has worked out generally to the city’s advantage,” Steve Hansen, a Democratic City Council member and critic of Mr. Johnson’s, said before the announcement. “The wall of not knowing how to deal with his problems, but choosing to ignore the failures in hopes of the promise, has begun to collapse. Once you saw the video and read the story, it was hard to pretend it never happened.”
Johnson claims the Phoenix allegation was investigated and dispensed with 20 years ago.
But what about the abuse allegations from his St Hope charter school?
Or the sexual harassment suit filed against him by a city employee?
And how about that blaming the teachers union for dragging his name through the mud with these allegations?
Here's a guy so reflexive in his teacher-bashing that he just doesn't understand that, post-Cosby, he just can't dismiss these allegations with that shit-eating grin of his and a little help from his wife, Michelle Rhee (who allegedly helped with the St. Hope cover-up.)
Not with that video of the alleged victim:
Here's hoping the St. Hope allegations get some more scrutiny because it's pretty clear that the Obama administration, along with his wife Rhee, helped Johnson cover them up and make them go away.Although Mr. Johnson argued last week that the accusation had not hurt him with voters, officials in both parties said the video would have made it hard to win a third term. After ESPN announced it was shelving the documentary, the city's Democratic leader, Ms. Asbury urged Mr. Johnson not to seek re-electionThe video came at a time of heightened scrutiny of the kind of behavior that once might have been disregarded, as other figures in American public life have been discredited by accusations of sexual misconduct.
And Rhee should get some scrutiny for helping KJ cover his crimes up.
When Rhee fired teachers in D.C., she defended the firings by claiming some were sexual predators.
That turned out to be a lie from Ms. Rhee - or projection, since she appears to be married to a predator herself.
Rhee and Johnson have both fallen from grace, but given their respective crimes, they haven't fallen far enough in my estimation.