Johnson dodges questions from media

Johnson refused to take questions from reporters on Tuesday. City public information officials turned down a request Monday for an interview with Johnson and didn’t return a phone call Tuesday.

“He’s still very busy,” city Chief Administrative Officer Otha Burton said. “I wasn’t aware he wouldn’t take questions, though.”

Burton, who will resign June 30, said the mayor’s office will keep up its daily operations with pride and professionalism.

“Mayor Johnson will establish a transition team early in June with various responsibilities relating to departments’ projects,” he said. Johnson previously said he would work until he leaves office July 4.

A smooth handoff is important for city residents and private businesses in the middle of projects, said Susan Lunardini, president of a civil engineering consulting company. “I’m sure from the current mayor’s team and the next will be cordial and cooperative,” she said. “The running of the city is too important to get bogged down with the personalities involved.”

Johnson participated as usual in the council meeting. He answered questions from a resident and made a proclamation. But after the meeting, he slipped quickly into his office, then later ignored a TV reporter while he waited for an elevator.

Clarion Ledger
5/11/5