Fulton County Sheriff Sued by Deputy

ATLANTA (CN) – A deputy is suing the Fulton County Sheriff for maligning him in the Brian Nichols courthouse shooting case.

     Myron E. Freeman, sheriff of Fulton County, is also named as a defendant in the federal lawsuit.
     On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols, a Fulton County Jail inmate, was being tried at the Fulton County Courthouse. According to the complaint, while at the courthouse, Nichols “overpowered a sheriff’s deputy assigned to guarding him, grabbed her gun, entered the courtroom and shot and killed Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau and Sgt. Hoyt Teasley and fled the courthouse. “Nichols is also alleged to have shot and killed David Wilhelm several hours later.”
     Lucious D. Johnson, who worked as a major for the department, was fired in August 2005 after the Internal Affairs Division of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation into the Nichols case. According to the complaint, Johnson did not perform his duties as a major. The department announced to the public that Johnson was fired for “misconduct” in the courthouse shooting and released the investigation report. The announcements, which have damaged the plaintiff’s personal and professional reputation, were later published in the “The Atlanta-Journal Constitution” and other media outlets throughout the nation. Johnson has been deprived of due process of the law, according to the complaint, because he was denied the opportunity for a “name-clearing hearing.”
     Johnson is represented by Benjamin Barrett of Barrett and Farahany LLP.

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