Proven Leadership in Difficult Times
Response to Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic closed courtrooms, halted jury trials, and ground the criminal justice system to a stop. Paul Johnson quickly adapted and reorganized the day to day business practices of the DA’s Office in order to create a safe working environment for his employees, meet the needs of the courts, and continue to serve crime victims and the public.
⦁ Flex Schedules
Paul implemented flex schedules to reduce the number of staff physically inside the office at the same time. This reduced the health risk to employees while ensuring the office remained open to meet the needs of the criminal justice system.
⦁ Discovery Drop Box
The District Attorney’s Office implemented a “Discovery Drop Box” to provide essential discovery to defense attorneys while the county-wide Stay at Home Order was in effect.
⦁ Grand Jury
A new grand jury could not be convened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Paul worked with the existing grand jurors to continue their term so that felony criminal cases could continue to be processed and filed.
⦁ Consolidated Plea Docket
The DA’s Office worked with the District Courts, the Criminal Defense Bar, and the DCSO to create a virtual “Consolidated Plea Docket” for essential pleas to occur virtually from the jail.
⦁ Electronic Plea Paperwork
The DA’s Office found alternative means of providing paper documents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Paper documents could no longer be transferred in person in court or at the DA’s Office. As a result, prosecutors began electronically scanning and sending legal paperwork.
⦁ Virtual Hearings
The Covid-19 pandemic put an end to in-person hearings and court dockets. Prosecutors learned to conduct hearings and court dockets virtually over Zoom.