DWI charge against ECSU's Johnson dismissed


By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Friday, April 14, 2017

Prosecutors have dismissed a charge of driving while impaired against Elizabeth City State Athletic Director Derrick Johnson.

According to documents obtained from the Pasquotank County Clerk of Court's Office, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the DWI charge against Johnson on April 6 because the arresting officer “is not available and never will be.”

District Attorney Andrew Womble said Friday it is his understanding the case was dismissed because the Elizabeth City police officer who arrested Johnson is on administrative leave. He did not provide details.

When reached by phone on Friday, Elizabeth City police Chief Eddie Buffaloe Jr. noted that because of the Easter holiday, he was unable to provide details about the officer or Johnson’s case until Monday.

Johnson’s vehicle was stopped by an Elizabeth City police officer on Ehringhaus Street after 1 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2016.

Police documents state an officer observed Johnson, 41, to have red/glassy eyes and the odor of alcohol on his person. He was administered a blood-alcohol test and found to have a blood-alcohol level of .13, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 to drive in North Carolina.

Reached Friday, Johnson declined to comment on prosecutors’ dismissal of the charge against him. He also declined to say if he had been disciplined by the university.

Johnson was named ECSU’s athletic director in May 2015.

Before his time in Elizabeth City, Johnson served as the athletic director at Riverside City College in Riverside, California for nearly three years.

In February 2015, Johnson’s contract with Riverside was not renewed.

Johnson also spent time as a coach and an athletic administrator at Benedict College in South Carolina in the 2000s.