Raleigh, NC -- Alamance Co. Sheriff Terry Johnson's attorney fired back Wednesday at a Department of Justice report that the sheriff discriminated against Latinos and that his department was biased against Spanish-speakers.
"I want to point out that these are all unsubstantiated allegations," attorney Chuck Kitchen said by phone. "None of this has been proven. It really appears to me to be gossip and innuendo that [the DOJ attorneys] are reporting on."
Kitchen accuses the DOJ of working with the American Civil Liberties Union to take down the sheriff. Kitchen points out that the DOJ released the findings of its two-year investigation into the bias accusations against Johnson the same day it dropped a lawsuit against him and the county.
The federal government had been suing for the ability to interview sheriff's deputies without the county attorney present. Kitchen says when the first court hearing for the lawsuit was finally scheduled, the suit disappeared and the investigation findings were released.
"It certainly appears that what they were trying to do was for public relations purposes," Kitchen said, "to take the focus away from the fact that they had to take a dismissal on one of their cases and move it to all of these unfounded allegations."
The DOJ's accusations against the sheriff are strong and pointed, but Kitchen claims they are based on generalities and few statistics. WFMY News 2 attempted to contact DOJ lawyers by phone and email Wednesday, but its calls were not returned.
WFMY News 2