Chip Johnson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Chip Johnson. (Hernando Mayor’s Office)

The mayor of a Mississippi city is apologizing after a nude photo he sent to a woman was forwarded to other city officials.

Mayor Chip Johnson, who has led the city of 6,000 in the northern Mississippi county of DeSoto since 2005, called the incident a private matter in an interview with the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

According to WMC-TV, the explicit photo was sent to the city’s entire Board of Aldermen. Johnson told the Times-Tribune he did not intend for the the picture of his private parts to be distributed to the public.

“I am the Mayor of the Town of Hernando but I am also Chip Johnson personally,” the 49-year-old told the newspaper.

Read on to see the (censored) photo of Johnson and for everything else you need to know:


1. The Email With the Naked Shower Photo Was Titled ‘Your Mayor’

The photo, which shows a full frontal shot of Chip Johnson in the shower, was distributed in an email titled “Your Mayor,” according to a photo posted by WMC-TV.

It’s not yet clear why the photo was sent to the aldermen, or how many others received it.

“I wish it had not been sent obviously,” Johnson told WMC-TV. “Of course it was something very stupid that should not have been done. I guess I’m paying the price.”

The city’s Board of Aldermen is made up of six men and a woman.

Johnson told the local media he is consulting with an attorney about the distribution of the photo, which was meant to be private.


2. Johnson Says He Made a ‘Personal Mistake,’ But Doesn’t Plan to Resign

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(Facebook)

Johnson told the DeSoto Times-Tribune that sending the woman the photo was a “personal mistake” and said he does not plan to resign, because the incident does not effect his ability to lead the city.

“It’s a very personal and private matter that was a mistake on the part of me personally,” Johnson told the local paper. “I think I have learned a valuable lesson from it but I certainly don’t want it to reflect negatively on the town of Hernando.”


3. He Is Estranged From His Wife

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(Facebook)

Johnson is estranged from his wife, Laurie Bennett Johnson., according to the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

He is a native of Mississippi and a graduate of the University of Memphis. He and his wife have been married for more than 20 years, but are going through a divorce, WMC-TV reports.

He said the photo was taken last year and was sent to a woman he was dating.

“I had a private indiscretion with an adult woman who decided to make it public,” Johnson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.


4. He Has Gained a National Profile for Making Hernando One of America’s ‘Healthiest Hometowns’

Johnson, a Republican, was first elected as Hernando’s mayor in 2005, and has been re-elected twice. According to the DeSoto Times-Tribune, he has created a national political profile for his efforts to make his city more physically fit and healthy.

He has been invited to the White House and elsewhere around the country on multiple occasions to speak about the issue.

First Lady Michelle Obama praised Johnson during a 2012 event, saying, “Mayor Johnson put it best when he said — this is his quote — he said, ‘My job is not to tell people to be healthy, but it’s to create an atmosphere and opportunities for good health in Hernando.’ And that’s what all of these leaders are doing every single day. That’s what we’ve been doing over these past two and a half years through Let’s Move.”

The city was named Mississippi’s “Healthiest Hometown” in 2010, he says on the city’s website:

Through successful city initiatives and the investment efforts of the private sector Hernando is moving in a direction that has put it on the map as one of the most appealing communities in the Mid South, if not the entire country. Hernando has placed a strong emphasis on creating a healthy and sustainable community, including offering curbside recycling, supporting a vibrant Farmers Market, administering strong development standards, and providing quality recreation facilities and programs. The city also places a high premium on being pedestrian and bicycle friendly and taking great care of our valuable natural resources.


5. He Is a Navy Veteran & Owns Several Properties in Hernando

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(Facebook)

Johnson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served during the Cold War, and owns several properties in Hernando, according to the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

He told the Commercial Appeal he heard the photo had got out, but hoped it wouldn’t be newsworthy.

“I think this sort of thing probably goes on hundreds of times in DeSoto County,” he told the newspaper.