The Slatest

Kevin Johnson Will Not Run for Third Term as Sacramento Mayor

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on June 19, 2015.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Former NBA star Kevin Johnson will not run for a third term as Sacramento, California, mayor, he announced late Tuesday, the day that ESPN originally planned to air a documentary about the city that has been postponed because of new reporting about a 1995 sexual assault allegation against Johnson. From the Sacramento Bee:

“It was an incredibly difficult choice, but one that I feel confident about,” the mayor wrote in a statement he later posted on Twitter. “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.”

Johnson became mayor in 2008. In recent months his accuser in the 1995 Phoenix sexual assault case (in which he was not charged) has come forward publicly via Deadspin, which also published a video of her 1996 interview with police. The woman says she received $230,600 from Johnson in a 1997 settlement, a detail the Bee originally reported in 2008. Johnson has been accused of a number of other improper acts during his time as mayor and as head of the Sacramento St. Hope charter school network; you can read about those accusations here. (He has never been charged with a crime, though he did agree to a settlement with the federal government regarding improper use of funds at St. Hope, and two St. Hope staffers resigned over the organization’s handling of accusations of inappropriate touching that were made against Johnson.)