Former NBA star Kevin Johnson is facing pressure to resign as Sacramento mayor because of a resurfaced sexual misconduct allegation against him from 20 years ago.
Sacramento voters knew about the allegation that Johnson molested Mandi Koba when she was a teenager, and still twice voted him as the mayor of the city. However, the claim has resurfaced via a damaging video of the then-teenaged Koba sitting on her hands in a police interrogation room, which could lead to the mayor possibly resigning or at least not going for a third term in office, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“You read the stories, you read a transcript from a court case and that’s one thing,” Democratic political consultant Andrew Acosta told the Bee. “But you see this young girl [in a video] and it has a different impact. We’ve followed the story for years in Sacramento, but if it’s the first time you’ve seen it, I’m assuming it’s powerful to people.”
The fallout from the video has already begun. ESPN announced that it's delaying its 30 for 30 documentary, Down in the Valley, a story involving Johnson about Sacramento's campaign to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle in 2013.
“It’s unfortunate that stories like this continue to come forward,” Johnson said. “When I ran for mayor [in 2008], I knew these were all going to be a part of fair play. Politics is a game that throws out dirty things along the way and you’ve got to take hits on the chin.”
This hit on the chin, however, could lead to Johnson's resignation.
“If I were putting down money on which way the committee would go, I would bet on a call for resignation," chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, Kerri Asbury said. “At a minimum, I think he needs to not seek re-election. I feel the integrity of the mayor’s office has been broken.”
Johnson has long denied the allegations and authorities investigating Koba's claims didn't pursue the charges. Reportedly, Johnson and Koba signed a draft settlement agreement for $230,000 in 1997. He's expected to decide about running for a possible third term soon.
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(Photo: REUTERS /DAVID MCNEW /LANDOV)