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Kevin Johnson States He Won't Seek Re-Election Amid Molestation Allegations

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2015

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 5: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson addresses the media during the game between the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings on February 5, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

In the wake of molestation allegations against him, Kevin Johnson has announced he will not run for a third term as Sacramento mayor.

A video recently emerged of Mandi Koba claiming to police that the former Phoenix Suns point guard had sexually abused her in the summer of 1995 when she was 16 years old, via Dave McKenna of Deadspin. There have since been calls for Johnson to stand down from his post from political rivals, per Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee.

The mayor released the following statement on his Twitter account, outlining the reasons why he will not be running for re-election:

Kevin Johnson @KJ_MayorJohnson

Statement on decision not to seek reelection. https://t.co/eQrxNc0y7T

Johnson claims he took the decision “after much thought and soul-searching,” stating that “it was an incredibly difficult choice, but one that I feel confident about.”

He continued: “As I’m sure there will be much speculation on this, let me proactively say that I am not leaving for another specific job or position. While there are many intriguing opportunities out there (and I’m excited to explore them) I honestly don’t know what’s next for me.”

The police decided not to charge Johnson after they spoke to Koba two decades ago, and he is currently not set to face any criminal charges in respect of the alleged incident. His accuser, now 36 years old, told McKenna that Johnson paid her $230,600 to never speak of him again to anyone other than “a priest, a therapist or a lawyer.

The 49-year-old politician said it was “unfortunate” these kinds of stories continue to surface. “When I ran for mayor (in 2008), I knew these were all going to be a part of fair play,” he said, per Lillis. “Politics is a game that throws out dirty things along the way and you’ve got to take hits on the chin.”

Johnson will not stand for a third term as mayor.
Johnson will not stand for a third term as mayor.Rocky Widner/Getty Images

As reported by Lillis in a separate piece, Johnson’s colleague, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, is to announce that she will be running for mayor. The former NBA All-Star was elected to the position in 2008 and re-elected for a second term in 2012.

Johnson has been heralded as a central figure in preventing the relocation of the Sacramento Kings and the the subsequent construction of a state-of-the-art new arena for the team; the $507 million development is scheduled to be completed in October 2016.

ESPN was set to premiere a documentary about the city’s struggles to keep the team in Sacramento, in which Johnson is a key contributor, on Tuesday. But due to the release of the police video, the broadcaster has decided to indefinitely suspend its airing.

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