Monday, July 02, 2018

Former NYC Cop Joint Choice of McClure and Courts as NorCo Sheriff

Acting Sheriff Richard Johnston
NorCo's Acting Sheriff, Richard H.Johnston, knows a little bit about perseverance. He was a lieutenant in the Sheriff's Department in 2010, when he was suddenly laid off as a cost-saving measure. Rather than giving up, Johnston spent the next two years working for the Sands Casino as both a security officer and table games dealer. In 2013, he was reinstated with the County. Last week, he was appointed Sheriff by Executive Lamont McClure. This appointment must be confirmed by five of County Council's nine members. A vote is expected on July 19, after Council review. If confirmed, Johnston's salary will be $89,235.

The Northampton County Sheriff provides building and court room security, transports prisoners, locates and apprehends fugitives, serves legal papers, administers the foreclosure, repossession and sale of real and personal property, and issues gun permits.

This appointment is the last of McClure's cabinet appointments. It took longer than the others because the Administrative Code imposes  more cumbersome procedures for a Sheriff appointment than applies to other top positions.. The Executive must rank his top three choices and forward them to the courts. The Courts in turn can rank the choices in another order or include new names. The Executive has the final say.

On June 18, McClure sent his list of top three applicants to President Judge Michael Koury, who had just been sworn in that day. Johnston was McClure's first choice, followed by former Sheriff Randall Miller and SGT Timothy Hornbaker, a well-respected Deputy Sheriff.

After reviewing the matter with his fellow jurists, President Judge Koury agreed with McClure's top three choices, ranked in the same order.

Johnston has the satisfaction of knowing that he is the top choice of both the courts and Executive.

There is also some poetic justice in seeing Johnston, who was once laid off by the County, selected as its Sheriff.

It's mostly gone, but you can still detect a New York accent in Johnston's voice. He started his career there as a NYC transit cop in 1982. While working full-time, he earned an associate's degree in forensic psychology in 1993. In 1994, he was promoted to sergeant for the NYPD, where he supervised anywhere between 20 and 45 officers, depending on which precinct he worked

After putting in his 20 years with New York City, he continued his career in law enforcement here in the Lehigh Valley. He started as a District Security Officer at Easton School District, and became a deputy sheriff in 2002. He worked his way up the ranks until he became a lieutenant in 2008.

Altogether, he has 34 years of experience in law enforcement.

He lives in Bethlehem Township with his wife. His daughter Flannery was a tennis ace at Freedom High School.

Erratum: In the original version of ttis story, I have two errors. I erroneously stated that the Sheriff confirmation needs six Council votes. It only needs five. I stated that Rich started his career in 1992. It was 1982.


Anonymous said...

Good for him, a great guy. he was one of a few good people dumped during the Stoffa Admisntration. Glad to see him back.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Richard !

Robert E Samberg said...

Congratulations Rich. Good choice by the Executive. It was always a pleasure working with you.

Anonymous said...

What happens to the former sheriff? When does this take affect?

Bernie O'Hare said...

David Dalrymple was the Sheriff until Lamont McClure assumed office. He was a very good Sheriff and probably would still be there but for one thing - he lives in New Jersey. Lamont McClure was on Council when David was confirmed and voted against him for that reason. He expressed some concern at that time about whether it is even legal to have a Sheriff who lives outside the state. The courthouse is only a stone's throw from where Dalrymple lives, but is in another state. In most counties, the sheriff's office is elected and must be a resident. McClure made clear at the time of his No vote that Dalrymple was impeccably qualified. That point was stressed by those who voted yes. Dalrymple was a retired major in he New Jersey State Police.

To answer your question, Dave Dalrymple left office when Lamont came in, and Rich was appointed Acting Sheriff. His appointment as Sheriff will take effect immediately upon confirmation.

On a personal level, I have high regard for both Dalrymple and Johnston.

Anonymous said...

What were the circumstances that led to Johnston being laid off during the Stoffa administration? I don't remember that.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea deputy sheriffs were terminated in 2010 as a cost saving move.

Anonymous said...

They weren`t

Anonymous said...

He was a threat to then Sheriff Randell Miller, who he himself had been FIRED, by Northampton county!

Funny how Karma works!!!! Anyone else take notice that Randell Miller was in the top three candidates who were running for Northampton County Sheriff?

Funny thing is....... the applications for the sheriff weren't available until months after he HAD already signed a three-year contract with Nazareth Borough to be their police chief! all this time of making backdoor deals for Nazareth Borough he was making backdoor deals and continuing through the process of trying to get the sheriff spot again!

I wounder what else he has lied about, and kept hidden from Nazareth Council?

Randall MILLER is FOR and always SHALL be for RANDALL MILLER!!!!!

This time he just couldn't sleep his way to the top as he did with us in Bethlehem PD!!!!

Anonymous said...

"This time he just couldn't sleep his way to the top as he did with us in Bethlehem PD!!!!"
Wow!!! That's a first. I worked with him an never heard anything like that. Even from those that weren't his biggest supporters.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:40PM It means he did alot of favors for the higher BRASS and "lived on EASY" street. As any of his other TEAM mates. This of course is back when we worked "TEAMS" and mostly when we worked the "Village".

Anonymous said...

This appointment is the last of McClure's cabinet appointments?

Anyone in Court Services?

Anonymous said...

not yet, Bernie had reported that Kraft was going to be doing that

Anonymous said...

anon 12:15, yes they were. It was played off as something else ad the media bought it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:30, shit, I can’t do anything right. Forgot about that one. I believe McClure has been trying to determine if one is needed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:34, I vaguely recall that Miller made some changes and it resulted with Rich being on the wrong side of the stick. It was some kind of bullshit economic reorganization. Can say that Rich was brought back as Stoffa ended his second term.

Yes, I love that Rich hung in there and it certainly is karma that he ranked higher than the man who laid him off.

As for that man, I.e. Randy Miller, I believe he was brought to Nazareth to be a union buster. He is now the top cop for a borough council that includes one member who wanted cops to fine a state police informant and another council member who admitted to stealing from a fire hall. I used to really admire him, but have been disappointed by the way he has dealt with some excellent officers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Having said this, the purpose of this story is to praise Rich, not bury Miller. I would prefer that people ID themselves if they wish to attack him personally. Also, I believe the remark about him sleeping his way to the top was meant figuratively, not literally. In any event, I asked Callahan. He tells me he tried, but Miller just led him on.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear they actually followed the Administrative Code. Especially since the selectiin of one of the Deputy Warden positions at the jail were obvious violations of the Career Service Regs, as well as the HRC. But no one bats an eye.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you care to identify which position and how the Admin Code was obviously violated, i’ll Certainly look into it.

Anonymous said...

Callahan was all in on Miller. He was part of County Executive Callahan's clan.

Anonymous said...

When people were dumped by the Stoffa henchmen he stayed above the fray.

Peter J.Cochran said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Peter, I know you are quite the marksman and have been told several stories about your shooting accuracy.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Well Bernie, it’s not about me. I had the fortune to grow up in a house on Chipman Road and my father was a real stickler about safety and marksmanship. He had a 50 foot pistol range in the basement for over 50 years . He took me to the LV pistol league before I could drive and I had 5 great Distinguished shooters as coach’s during my 32 year military stint and a lot revolved around schooling and counter shooting later in the 80 and 90s . Like basketball you don’t start in the game at 24-26 years old without playing organized b- ball as a small kid to be be great at 24 -26 years old. There is just stuff I know that will save the the people that protect us and “at every attempt” I try to help Evan Federal agents shoot better - to safe their lives. Use me or don’t .I getting older and slower but I can coach and I still flinch early in season .So the offer is here if any cop wants to “ Dress Up” and shoot half the groups he or she did last year . That does not go for you Trooper Berlingame . Your already great .

Anonymous said...

Jesus ole petey., We get it you are the greatest gun man in the world. Time to live in the present and not the past. I doubt you are going to wrestler any guns from the county sheriffs at this pint. You are one lovable old codger!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Peter, I will pass on your offer. Really, every person who carries should practice. I’d take you up myself but prefer being unarmed. I only liked two weapons, the M203 grenade launcher and a 155 mm SP HOWITZER. I was damn good with the grenade launcher, but our unit was kicked off three bases bc we had a habit of ruining things and firing outside of the impact area. Not a good thing with an HE live round. I completely demolished a bridge in Va. and that was just with my driving. We were bad.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will let the new Sheriff know of your kind offer.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon728- like and old ball player said once, “I’m not as good as I was once,but I’m good once as I was once. I could take a gun from a class 2 or 3 houlster in a heartbeat . A 28 year old. ,Stronger man and knowing could take two. But at 66 ,ah maybe all I need is one. The former sheriff was in an other mode at that time don’t forget. Or ,I could come to meetings then after hours and hide a firearm in celiling overhead and retrieve it later on another date then. I’m not dead yet and still walk my dog and pick up his crap.mso if I can do this still ,I can convey how to watch the front sight and damage to magazines in training and so forth ,that they cops don’t get on their ranges. Issue is I will help as a citizen that cares about these guys - Free. Ie _ever practic with seat belt on in automobile,or how about issues with bent elbows and auto loaders,or can they reload a magazine properly under stress.? What would you offer free to them to help , constitutionally oriented classes on how how not to——step up! Help them . Good night.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie ,today the INFANTRYMEN have Mk19s 40 mm but long cases and go way out and fire automatically. I’m impressed that you had an artillery unit that was kicked off post. My kid ,Henry , USMC started a new trading in the 2 nd MarDiv after he used the 40 MM as an indirect fire weapon . He received the Navy / Marine Corps Achievment Metal for his below pay grade initiatives. My wife and me are pride of him .

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