A Johnson County attorney is now accused of committing crimes against women in his own office.
The office of Jeremiah Johnson, the attorney accused of violating his employee's personal privacy, is located near Poplar and Cherry Street, in Olathe, KS. In addition to facing up to a year in jail for two criminal counts against him, he could also be out of a job.
After several calls and a stop by his office, Johnson was seemingly absent from his office Friday. Thursday Johnson, who touts himself as a drunk driving defense attorney, was charged with two counts of eavesdropping.
According to court records, three women who are suing Johnson in federal court claim he encouraged them to wear "skirts and heels" while at work after Johnson bought an "Apple iPhone , iPad and an app called Cam-U-Flage, which allows the devices to conduct video surveillance."
The women said Johnson also bought new desks that were open underneath, allowing a person's lower torso and legs to be viewed if one were looking under the desk. Once the desks were installed, each of the women were asked or told to "sit at a particular desk for no particular reason," according to court documents. It was then that Johnson "secretly recorded each of the plaintiffs…the recordings were directed at the plaintiffs' legs, lower torso and allowed anyone viewing the recordings to see the plaintiffs' legs and between their legs."
According to sources, it was another attorney in the office who found the devices and called authorities, who then executed a search warrant at Johnson's office.
The incidents allegedly happened before June 2011, more than a year ago, and more than six months since the victims filed their civil suit, but it wasn't until Thursday that charges were filed.
Even though this is an arrestable offense, Johnson was never arrested, booked, and photographed. Instead he was issued a summons to appear in court.
Johnson County attorney Steve Howe said the delay in filing involved waiting for the investigation to be completed. Howe also said it's not unheard of to issue a summons if someone isn't believed to pose a threat to the community.
The employees are asking for $75,000 each for punitive damages.
The alleged incident was reported to the board that governs attorney behavior in Kansas back when the allegations came up more than a year ago, but no action was taken. It is unknown at this time if Johnson will face disciplinary action, such as losing his law license, now that formal charges have been filed.
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