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Report: Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson accused of having affair with former City Hall staffer

Mayor ​​​Eric L. Johnson at city council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at Dallas City Hall.
Yfat Yossifor
Mayor ​​​Eric L. Johnson at city council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at Dallas City Hall.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has been accused of having an affair with a former city staffer and directing campaign funds to the staffer’s company. The claim came out during Johnson's divorce hearings and first reported by D Magazine.

According to the report, Nakita Johnson, the mayor’s wife, testified during the divorce hearing that she caught Mayor Johnson in their home — with another woman.

The divorce court records are sealed — an option frequently pursued by public figures and the wealthy — so it's unclear exactly what the original petition contained. KERA reached out to both Nakita and Mayor Johnson's attorneys.

A spokesperson from Hargrave Family Law, the firm representing Nakita, declined to comment. A spokesperson from KoonsFuller, the firm representing the mayor, said they typically do not "divulge" information about cases.

D Magazine’s Editorial Director Matt Goodman, who was in the courtroom during the proceedings, reported that it was Mayor Johnson who filed for divorce from his wife in March 2023.

“[Nakita] testified that the mayor told her he had filed for divorce while she was cleaning dishes, following a family dinner, and had left the papers for her on a chair and said ‘it was done’,” Goodman said in the article.

Nakita also testified that Mayor Johnson had admitted to having an affair and that it had “happened a dozen times or so and didn’t give much more than that,” according to the D Magazine report.

Johnson denied the allegations — and his legal team said there was no evidence of the affair. But Nakita’s attorneys introduced evidence that was to the contrary — a photo from the home’s security system of the woman coming and leaving the Johnson’s residence in early 2021.

D Magazine withheld the name of the woman being accused of having an affair with Mayor Johnson — and included a statement from her saying she “could not more strongly categorically deny” the claims.

Nakita’s attorneys also submitted evidence that links Mayor Johnson’s campaign spending to the woman’s firm during the last general election in 2023.

“Nakita’s attorneys….presented the payments as evidence of the mayor’s personal and professional relationships with the woman,” the report says.

According to D Magazine, the woman's firm was about $110,000 during Johnson's most recent campaign. The mayor ran basically unopposed — except for one write-in candidate.

News of the mayor’s divorce proceedings and the connection to a former City Hall staffer comes after D Magazine Editor Tim Rogers was subpoenaed as a witness for the Johnson’s divorce case.

According to a report published hours before D Magazine’s full article, Rogers was asked to appear before the court because of a post on social media that characterized a certain leather jacket worn by Mayor Johnson as giving off “divorced-dad” vibes.

“Then I made it clear I was kidding in the post, that the mayor was still married,” Rogers said in a piece published before D Magazine’s full report on the divorce proceedings.

But, according to Rogers, that was enough for Mayor Johnson to accuse his wife of conspiring to “embarrass him.”

Goodman went along with Rogers to the hearing since witnesses are not allowed to be present during the proceedings unless they are called on by the judge.

Accusations of Johnson’s extramarital affairs comes after he has been the center of scrutiny in Dallas politics. Shortly after winning his reelection campaign, Johnson formally announced a switch to the Republican party — after serving in the Texas Legislature as a Democrat.

The switch did not shock City Hall insiders, but left some officials questioning his timing.

KERA News reported last year that Johnson has also been consistently absent from city council meetings, missing more full or partial meetings than any other current city council since being elected in 2019.

And the Dallas Morning News recently reported on Johnson’s absences at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport board meetings. D Magazine also reported on what the mayor was missing during the meetings he didn’t show up to.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at ncollins@kera.org. You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

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Copyright 2024 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Nathan Collins