Whitesburg KY

County appears to be settling lawsuit involving constable

The Letcher County Fiscal Court has apparently reached an agreement with the plaintiff in a lawsuit who claims a county constable threatened her with jail after a man pushed her to the ground and broke her arm during an argument in the Walmart parking lot.

In an order-filed last week, Letcher Circuit Judge James W. Craft II gave the parties “up to and including” December 14 to file a pleading in the matter.

The order covers the Letcher County

Fiscal Court, Judge/Executive Terry Adams, all five magistrates, and District 2 Constable Austin Johnson. All were sued personally as well as in their official capacities.

Tonya Stallard filed the suit in November alleging that Johnson ignored her statements about what happened in the incident, during which John Johnson allegedly pointed a gun at her and at bystanders and pushed Stallard down on the asphalt. Stallard says the incident broke her arm, an injury that required surgery to repair.

She is also suing John Johnson and Kris Johnson, his wife, and the Whitesburg Police Department. Though John Johnson is an elected constable, he also works as a patrolman for the city and was driving a city police car and working for the city the night of the incident in October 2019.

It was not clear whether Austin Johnson and John Johnson are related. Stallard claims in the suit that they are, however others familiar with the case and the parties involved say they are not related.

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