All things considered, Faith Johnson is probably better off today. Sure, she got waxed by Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot in the 2018 election, losing by 20 points, but she was never expected to win anyway. Since her loss, however, the former judge has picked up a sweet partnership with Stanton LLP, avoided the traps and pitfalls that have marked Creuzot's first year in office, and on Thursday, she received a six-year appointment from Gov. Greg Abbott to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.
It's the second time the governor has given Johnson a job. Abbott appointed Johnson as Dallas County district attorney in December 2016, to fill the chair vacated by Susan Hawk. Hawk, the only Republican to win countywide office in the 2014 election, left her post for months to seek mental health treatment before coming back just long enough to meet a key deadline that meant Abbott got to appoint her successor without the need for a special election.
During her limited time in office, Johnson successfully oversaw the prosecution of former Balch Springs cop Roy Oliver, the first Dallas County police officer convicted of murder in more than 40 years, and sought and received the murder indictment that led to Amber Guyger's eventual murder conviction for shooting and killing Botham Jean.
Throughout her tenure at the county, Johnson received support from Texas Republican leadership like Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, with whom she partnered to investigate potential voter fraud in local elections. In turn, she rarely sought to distance herself from the national or state GOP on the campaign trail, likely limiting her chances, small as they were, against Creuzot.
Johnson is joined on the board by another Dallas resident, retired Judge Molly Francis. Francis previously served on Texas' Fifth Court of Appeals and is a former board member of the Dallas Bar Association, according to the governor's office.
The Texas Board of Criminal Justice oversees the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the agency in charge of the state's prisons and jails. With her appointment, Johnson will have a role in picking the TDCJ's superintendent, as well as setting rules for the agency. The board is also the board of trustees for the Windham School District, the school district that oversees inmate education throughout the state.
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