Salt Lake County Jail officials admit ‘human error’ in releasing federal prisoner, issue apology

Jeremy Johnson. Photo Courtesy: Davis County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 15, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday released a statement attributing the wrongful release of an inmate to “human error.”

“Prior information provided to media outlets regarding the release of Mr. Johnson has been found to be incorrect,” said the prepared statement, referencing the Monday release of Jeremy Johnson, who was serving a 30-day term for for contempt of court after refusing to testify against in a criminal case against¬†former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

Johnson had been transported to Utah by federal authorities from Taft, Calif., where he was serving an 11-year prison term after being convicted last year on eight counts of making false statements to a bank regarding his online marketing company.

Johnson’s defense attorney,¬†Mary Corporon, has said her client was released from Salt Lake County Jail after being told Monday that there was no federal hold on him. Johnson turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday.

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cammie Skogg said initially that Johnson was released because he had met the terms of his contempt sentence, and that there were no other documents in his file to indicate he was subject to a federal hold.

On Wednesday, Scoggs released the follow-up statement:

“A secondary, comprehensive review of the prisoner’s case file resulted in the discovery of human error,” the new statement says.

“The Salt lake County District Attorney’s Office did indeed provide the jail with a writ stipulating Mr. Johnson was to be released to the custody of federal authorities upon the completion of his commitment.”

The statement said information on Johnson’s case was incorrectly “entered into the the jail management system by jail staff.”

“The Salt Lake County Jail accepts full responsibility for the improper release and apologizes to our partners at the District Attorney’s Office and FBI,” the SLCSO statement continues.

“Although we acknowledge human errors can occur, we strive to provide a standard of excellence in the services we provide both to our community and to our law enforcement partners.”

 

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