Leaders in Penn Township, York County are trying to move forward, after the shocking loss of one of their colleagues. Michael Johnson, Junior, a commissioner, took his life on Monday after a two week run from police.
Johnson was facing several charges, including rape, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer.
Township Manager, Jeff Garvick says, "it was very disappointing and very tragic, I can't emphasize that enough, this has been a horrible tragedy."
40-year old Johnson, who lived on Garden Lane, was charged with raping a prostitute in Baltimore. A short time later, more charges were filed, for the same type of crimes, in York.
Johnson skipped town and after two weeks as a fugitive, he was found Monday inside a boarding house in Cohoes, New York.
When Johnson realized police were surrounding the property, he killed himself.
Garvick says, "our deepest sympathies go out to the families of Mr. Johnson and all those involved."
Johnson's lawyer, Chris Ferro, Esquire released this statement, "There are no winners in this story. At the end of the day, regardless of what is written and said, children have lost a father and a wife has lost a husband."
He went on to say, "These allegations have never been tested in court, and therefore, the final, most important, chapter of this unfortunate saga, will never be written."
As everyone moves forward, Penn Township will search for someone new to fill Johnson's chair.
Jeff Garvick says, "we have to look ahead, look forward, that's what we intend to do."
Johnson's term as commissioner expires December 31, 2009.
The township is now accepting applications to fill the remainder of his term, a decision is expected to announced selection next month.