When word spread this week that former Augusta Commissioner Corey Johnson has been accused of abusing his wife following a Cinco de Mayo celebration on Tuesday night, many Augustans were shocked.
This was the same commissioner who was generally known as the “friendly one” down at the Marble Palace. The one commissioner who was always willing to work with anyone.
Whether the commission was battling it out the budget or arguing over the development of the TEE Center, Johnson rarely lost his temper or lashed out at his colleagues. He always kept his cool.
But, according to the allegations by his wife, he was a different man at home.
Shelita Johnson, 40, told sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday night that her husband became violent and abusive after she refused to have sex with him.
The incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office states Shelita Johnson told officers that her husband “grabbed her by the arms” causing her to aggravate a previous shoulder injury.
However, Corey Johnson told the deputies that he “never had any intention” of hurting his wife and he “grabbed her arms to keep her in bed.”
He also insisted that once his wife told him to stop attempting to have sex with her, he stopped.
It’s a terrible situation either way.
And the only two people who really know what happened in that house that night is Corey and Shelita Johnson.
But it appears this domestic violence case will be headed to court because Shelita Johnson says she’s planning on pressing charges and is filing for divorce.
If Corey Johnson did what she claims, good for her. He should be prosecuted for abusing his wife. There is no doubt about it.
But this sounds like it is going to get ugly.
It’s definitely true that you never really know what goes on behind closed doors because the Johnsons always looked so happy and polished out in public.
Their home was filled with dozens of large photos of their extensive family accompanied by Bible verses on the walls.
They were young grandparents who frequently bragged about the success of their four grown boys.
They even often coordinated their outfits if it was a special occasion.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a commissioner has been accused of domestic violence.
Many will remember when former Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason pleaded not guilty in a domestic violence case involving his then-wife back in 2011.
The December 2011 incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office stated Mason grabbed his wife, Velma, by the throat and “pushed her against the wall.”
At the time, it appeared the charges were going to politically destroy Mason.
However, the charges were ultimately dropped against Mason and he went on to run for mayor last year, but lost the race to Hardie Davis.
Ironically, when Mason was facing the domestic abuse charges against his wife, The Augusta Chronicle asked Corey Johnson’s opinion about the incident.
“It’s a personal matter between him and his family, and they’ll have to get through it,” Johnson told the Chronicle in 2011. “It’s the same as in life. Marriage is the art of compromise.”
Most likely Corey see things much differently these days.