His boss, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, has nominated him to fill a soon-to-be vacant seat on the LA County Board of Education, a body that hears appeals of disputes from local school districts and governs the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and International Polytechnic High School.
Johnson currently works as Assistant Senior Deputy for Education and Public Safety for Ridley-Thomas, who played a major role in generating financial support for Johnson’s school board run.
While Johnson lost to McKenna by 1,814 votes, his campaign raised $421,522, and outside groups, many friendly to Ridley-Thomas, spent another $858,757 on his behalf. Both totals exceeded those for McKenna.
Whether Johnson can serve on the county board, which meets three times a month, and maintains his current position on Ridley Thomas’s staff is unclear. A board member who asked not to quoted said a supervisor cannot appoint someone from his or her staff.
The county board is, effectively, a volunteer organization. Any member can be removed at any time, and members receive only a meeting fee of $150 and mileage costs.
The vacancy on the seven-member County board is being created by the resignation of Rudell S. Freer, the longest-serving member who was first appointed in 1996 by Yvonne Burke. Freer will remain on the board until Sept. 9.
For Johnson to claim the seat, he would have to be approved by a vote of the Board of Supervisors, each of whom gets to name one appointment for a four-year term. Two other members serve on the board for two-year terms through rotating appointments.
Johnson would have a four-year term.