The longtime leader of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council is retiring Aug. 1, leaving the statewide agency he’s been with for more than three decades.
Stephen Johnson said he’s been considering the change for about two years, and specifically said his decision is not related to controversy he’s faced relating to state toxicology lab errors and legislative debates about Indiana’s sentencing reform that have surfaced in the past several months.
He first notified the IPAC governing board in mid-May and has been gradually informing others since then, he said.
“I wasn’t fired, and I’d actually been asked to stay on,” the 64-year-old Johnson told Indiana Lawyer Monday afternoon. “I’ve been thinking about this for a couple years, long before some of these recent issues have come up, and I have my health and am ready for the next stage.”
Admitted to practice in October 1973, Johnson began at IPAC when it became a state-funded agency in 1974. He’s served under two previous chiefs and became executive director in 1997, succeeding Richard P. Good who became a Marion Superior judge.
Former Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco said he first learned of Johnson’s retirement late last month at a prosecutor’s conference in Indianapolis, and said the state has a tough task of finding someone to succeed his longtime friend.
“You can’t replace him,” said Levco, who was part of the IPAC governing board who’d chosen Johnson for the executive director position. “Talk about big shoes to fill.”
The IPAC governing board has appointed a selection committee to conduct a statewide and national search, Johnson said. The position offers a salary of up to $125,000 depending on experience, and the person selected would be responsible for all IPAC operations as well as legislative lobbying and representing Indiana’s 91 prosecutors. The executive director also acts as a liaison to the governor’s office, law enforcement agencies, and various boards and organizations.
More information about the position and requirements can be found on the IPAC site. Applications are due July 5, to IPAC executive assistant Kathy Falkner at 302 W. Washington St., Room E-205, Indianapolis, IN 46204.