A local businessman faces felony charges alleging he posed as a police detective in an apparent attempt to scare a possible school bully.
Leif Reed Johnson, 45, of Central Point, entered not guilty pleas Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to two felony counts of criminal impersonation of a peace officer. Central Point police allege Johnson came to a child's front door posing as a police officer on two separate occasions.
On Feb. 27, Johnson reportedly went to a school-aged girl's doorstep and "stated he was investigating a case involving bullying and threats made on a school bus," according to Central Point police, who posted on Facebook about the case.
Johnson is the principal broker at Medford Mortgages on Town Centre Drive, the business' website shows.
On March 7, police posted surveillance images from the front door of the home that show a man they allege is Johnson wearing a sport coat and holding a notebook.
"He made statements to the victim stating she would be arrested if he had to return to her house," the post said.
Johnson said he couldn't comment on the case on the advice of his lawyer, Jeni Feinberg, though he said he believed "the whole thing" had been "blown out of proportion."
A call seeking comment from Feinberg was not immediately returned Thursday.
Criminal impersonation of a peace officer is a Class C felony under Oregon law.
Police called the case a "betrayal of the public trust," because it involved a person coming to a victim's home under the auspices of a criminal investigation.
Johnson has no prior criminal history beyond minor traffic violations, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.
Johnson's next court appearance is set for June 19.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.