*On May 22, 2015, the former president of the LA County Black Probation Officers Association (BPOA), Perry Amos, received a letter from the Los Angeles law firm Johnson and Associates.
This letter informed former president Amos that BPOA was the subject of an administrative investigation by the California Department of Insurance and that BPOA president, Yves Chery had retained William Daniel Johnson‘s legal services to represent them in this matter.
At the September 28, 2015, meeting of the Los Angeles County Employee Relations Commission (ERCOM), an item on their agenda cited the following: Possible Status Change of The Black Probation Officers Association, Inc. a County Registered Employee Organization. This was not a normal item for this group to discuss, explained ERCOM’s Interim Executive Director Tony Butka; however, the Auditor Controller’s office had forwarded to ERCOM a “cease and desist” letter from the California Department of Insurance regarding BPOA, something that Butka believed came under the purview of both ERCOM and auditor controller’s office.
During the meeting attorney, William Daniel Johnson, stated that he had been retained by BPOA and was appearing on BPOA’s behalf to ask that BPOA be allowed to continue collecting dues from its members while ERCOM completed its investigation. The commissioners tasked Interim Executive Director Butka with review of the matter.
Then the unimaginable was exposed. When a BPOA member who was attending the meeting asked attorney Johnson for his card, it was discovered that William Daniel Johnson had a long and storied history as a white supremacist. When members phoned BPOA president Yves Chery to query him as to why he had retained this attorney, he evaded their questions, and then hung up. At the very least, he is a man who does not do his homework and cannot service his constituents’ needs. But could it be something worse? Why would Yves Chery retain a known racist to do business with the BPOA? And why would Johnson, given his toxic beliefs, undertake representation of BPOA? What large favor is he expecting in return for suspending his demonstrated history of white supremacy?
Alarm bells should be ringing. Johnson is on the The Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Watch list, which stated, “William Daniel Johnson, a Los Angeles corporate lawyer, is an uninspiring, but determined white separatist. As early as 1985, Johnson proposed a constitutional amendment that would revoke the American citizenship of every nonwhite inhabitant of the United States. In his own words, “No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race. … Only white citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.” How does Yves Cherry’s BPOA fit in with attorney Johnson’s image of a white only America?
The Los Angeles Times stated about William Johnson: “It just goes to show what can happen if you don’t pay attention to judicial elections. Los Angeles voters could unwittingly end up electing white separatist Bill Johnson to the court. “Worryingly, Johnson lied during his campaign. As a candidate for judge he espoused disenfranchisement and deportation of nonwhites, and ran for Congress from two different states, once under a different name, while maintaining his law practice in Los Angeles.”
The Huffington Post also raised the alarm: “William Daniel Johnson, a white supremacist, is running for an open congressional seat in Michigan as the candidate of a minor political party. Johnson, who has proposed a constitutional amendment that would only allow whites to be U.S. citizens, is seeking a congressional seat in the Detroit suburbs. In 2008, Johnson hosted a fundraiser at his Los Angeles area home for Ron Paul (R-Texas), then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. The $2,000 a plate fundraiser sold out. Paul later backed Johnson in his race for a Los Angeles County judgeship, but dropped his support after learning of Johnson’s history.” Chery certainly knows of his history at this point. So what’s stopping him from following Ron Paul?
After all, an article in Salon Magazine placed Johnson on a list of the fourteen most extreme candidates in the United States. In his Wyoming campaign he hired a 19 year old Klansman as his campaign manager. A report by the Associated Press datelined Cheyenne, Wyoming, baldly stated, “A white supremacist has won the right to run for Wyoming’s vacant seat, in the U.S. House of Representatives.“ So how did this important fact elude Yves Chery?
And what kind of problems will it bring to the BPOA? According to the Los Angeles County nondiscrimination policy, by hiring William Daniel Johnson, Yves Chery potentially has placed BPOA out of compliance with the County’s Non-Discrimination Policy. The second paragraph of this policy reads: “Every County employee, and every person engaged in business with the County, have an ongoing responsibility to create a nondiscriminatory work environment through their personal conduct (BOS 9.010 EEO Non-Discrimination Policy Statement).”
At the BPOA general membership meeting held October 21, 2015, several members attempted to question president Yves Chery regarding why he hired an attorney, who is so out of compliance with the values of The Black Probation Officers Association. Chery quickly got up from his seat and hurried out of the meeting with several members trailing him to his car. In a display of contempt for accountability, he then sped off. BPOA members rightfully have raised the issue of possibly recalling Yves Cherry based upon his lacking the judgment necessary to hold a position of public trust within its organization.