The Sheriff’s Campaign Texts

Frame of messenger communication between Sheriff Scott Johnson and Lt. Matt Padgett.

Matt Padgett wrote Sheriff Scott Johnson on Thursday, June 7, 2018: After hearing several reports that Sheriff Scott Johnson was speaking negatively about Robin Souvenir, campaign manager Lt. Matt Padgett wrote Johnson on instant messenger.

Matt Padgett: “Hello, I just wanted to reach out because something has been bothering me . . . I have been hearing a lot of rumors, well more than rumors, people have told me directly that you have been saying things like “Robin is only running to try and prove he’s a better person than me” and that you “can’t afford to lose this job since you had to cash out your deferred comp to pay medical bills and if you do you’d lose everything” and that you “don’t understand why Robin would try and take your job, he and his wife make good money already” . . . Before I believe anything I wanted to give you the chance to let me hear it from you, either you have said something to that affect or you haven’t.”

Scott Johnson wrote back on June 7, 2018:

Scott Johnson:  “I have not speculated why Robin is running and quite frankly it doesn’t matter. Yes I lost a good retirement but that has nothing to do with the campaign. Let’s focus on the issues. I am not here to throw stones, at least not at the Souvenir campaign. I have nothing but respect for Robin.”

Scott Johnson wrote Matt Padgett on June 8, 2018: Lt. Padgett had questioned those who told him that Johnson was spreading malicious information and finds proof that Johnson was repeating it to many other people. Padgett then confronted Johnson on the issue and the Sheriff replied.

Scott Johnson: “Well perhaps you should tell me who you are choosing to believe. I’m not going to get into any arguments. I don’t appreciate any insinuation that I have lied. That is uncalled for. End of conversation.”

Matt Padgett wrote Johnson back on June 8, 2018:

Matt Padgett: “I’m not CHOOSING to believe anyone, I know for a fact those things were said by you . . . Robin will continue to take the high road, the silent support he is getting from within your agency, including some command staff, is validation enough for his decision to run, me on the other hand, I don’t like dishonest cops, especially admin. . .”

Kristofer Aho on October 24, 2018 internal affairs testimony: In his interview with WSP investigators Officer Kristofer Aho referenced the text messages between Padgett and Sheriff Johnson.

Kristofer Aho: “Uh, I think there’s been an incident, and I don’t know if they talked to you guys about this . . . Lieutenant Padgett had a series of text messages with Sheriff Johnson and he showed me the text message . . . the series of text messages, and I can’t specifically remember what all of it said, but I know in the end he said that Sheriff Johnson is a liar and if he did not come out and admit to what he was lying about, that Lieutenant Padgett would expose him . . .”