CLEVELAND, OH – Felicia Williams “Johnson” may not like reading her name in a news story about the dissolution of her marriage to attorney Jeffrey Johnson. But the last thing people remember about public figures is what they last read about them. Johnson made their courtship and marriage public. The last thing an ex-Mrs. Jeffrey Johnson wants is to still be remembered as his wife … publicly.
As I did during the campaign for Cleveland mayor when my revelation about his non-Cleveland residency cost Johnson his SEIU-backed candidacy, I’m not revealing images of the former Mrs. Johnson or her family. They’re not in “the game.” Jeff’s in the game.
The marriage between Felicia Williams and Jeffrey Johnson is dissolved by Zoom as of December 8, 2020. Johnson can take down the family photos of the former “Missus” and her two daughters on his social media pages. He’s already identified himself as “Single.” No need to connect her family to his drama. My sources say her children want the pictures … gone.
Williams filed for the dissolution as a pro se litigant on November 19, 2020. She even paid the filing fees to get it done. Johnson’s friend, Glenville Shopping Center developer Arthur Fayne, was indicted on December 4, 2020 for stealing money from the Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc.
Johnson is back at the home his late father left him and his sister at 9024 Parkgate Avenue. He’s now fulfilled his 2017 promise to the criminals at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections that he intended to return there while they resided in Twinsburg as a family in her home. The former Mrs. Johnson might have wondered if his statement was connected to an eventual plan to leave.
Johnson knew his former wife never intended to leave Twinsburg; but she did anyway when they moved to Larchmont near Shaker Square. To her friends he was a disruptive force in her family’s life. She was caught up by his political razzle dazzle.
I’ve known Johnson since the beginning of his political career. My Sister attended law school at Case Western Reserve University with him. I ran for the council seat he was appointed to in 1984 after State Senator Morris Jackson joined Coca Cola as an executive and Michael White left Cleveland city council to replace him. The law degree was a title that would help Johnson in elected office.
There’s no Terry V. Ohio cases that will ever be under his belt as something Johnson fought to the Supreme Court of Ohio to protect a civil right like the late attorney Louis Stokes. The cases associated with Johnson’s name begin with captions like United States of America v. Jeffrey Johnson. The result of one was time in prison. He got off on an assault of an activist named Don Bryant.
The public announcement of Johnson’s engagement in 2014 for the cynical among his critics was seen as political theater he’d set up for a run at Cleveland mayor in 2017. Mayor Frank Jackson told me he thought Johnson was totally unworthy for the mayor’s job. I agreed. Similar reasons. He’d had a career of political grandstanding and not accomplishments.
While he served on Cleveland city council, Johnson left the house on Parkgate Avenue empty to live with his new family in Twinburg in December 2015. The marriage made him ineligible to remain on Cleveland city council throughout 2016 and 2017. Johnson pursuant to Section 3.15 of the Revised Code of Ohio should have left on his own.
3.15 Residency requirements for public officials. (A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, at all times during one’s term of office: (1) Each member of the general assembly and each elected voting member of the state board of education shall be a resident of the district the member represents. (2) Each judge and each elected officer of a court shall be a resident of the territory of that court. (3) Each person holding an elective office of a political subdivision shall be a resident of that political subdivision. (4) Each member of a municipal legislative authority who represents a ward shall be a resident of the ward the member represents, and each member of a board of education of a city school district who represents a subdistrict shall be a resident of the subdistrict the member represents.
(B) Any person who fails to meet any of the requirements of division (A) of this section that apply to the person shall forfeit the office. Division (A) of this section applies to persons who have been either elected or appointed to an elective office. Division (A) of this section does not apply to a member of the general assembly or the state board of education, to a member of a municipal legislative authority who represents a ward, or to a member of a board of education of a city school district who represents a subdistrict, during the remainder of the member’s existing term of office after there is a change in the member’s district’s, ward’s, or subdistrict’s boundaries that leaves the member’s permanent residence outside the district, ward, or subdistrict.
Williams supported her now ex-husband at the time through his residency deception. She was a political novice and his colleagues at the board of elections favored his perspective. But as she’s reading now, and learned then, there’s a truth in the language of the laws he lived to twist. It came with the character friends said she learned not to trust. I was not surprised to hear from a source how Jeff did not contribute equally to maintain the household.
Friends who joined the couple at restaurants say Johnson complained how everywhere he went his residency was a topic of discussion. Now that his marriage is dissolved, as he’s plotting to replace United States Representative Marcia Fudge in the 11th Congressional District, it’s another failure his grandstanding made public that he’ll have to gloss over and half-discuss while he adds his own twists to make “Jeff look good.”
Johnson now works for Cleveland Housing Court Judge Mona Scott of Atlanta, Georgia who doesn’t really know this town, its history, players and the fact that she got elected to a public office whose late former judicial officer died after a visit by federal agents. The glory of winning an election in a town you don’t really know, with players you truly don’t know, can come with a whole lot of trouble you really didn’t expect.
It’s just like marriage. Sometimes you choose wrong. Sometimes you choose right. Everything that glitters ain’t gold.