SACRAMENTO, CA - Three former legal assistants who helped prepare many of the 2,100 lawsuits filed by quadriplegic attorney Scott Johnson say he often never visited the businesses he sued.
The three women, along with a fourth who is now working out of state, have filed their own lawsuit against Johnson, claiming sexual harassment and a hostile work environment forced them out of their jobs this summer.
RELATED STORY: 4 accuse Carmichael ADA lawyer of fraud, sexual harassment
In an exclusive interview with News10, Jenna Doeuk, Monthica Kem and Micaela Lucas said they felt ashamed when they visited businesses looking for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but said their paychecks depended on it.
"He would drive by with us and the majority of the time he would stay in the van," said Doeuk, 28, who worked for Johnson for five years. "We would go in and make the purchase and he would count that as a visit to the business."
COURT DOCUMENTS: Sexual harassment suit filed against Johnson
Johnson has described himself as a crusader for civil rights, but his former employees say the crusade didn't extend into his home office where they worked.
Doeuk said that when staff was hired, Johnson insisted they be young, pretty and female.
All three women are attractive Asians in their twenties.
"He just made little jokes here and there about having a young mail order bride from Asia," said Lucas, 21. "Which makes me uncomfortable because I'm young and of Asian heritage and I work for him."
The former employees said they all applied to work as legal assistants, but found out on their first day on the job that their duties included Johnson's personal care.
"It involved lifting him out of the bed," said Kem, 26. "Pretty much hands on. Laying him back onto his bed and putting lotion on this body."
The plaintiffs' attorney, Sacramento State University Associate Professor Jordan Peters, said the women had no one to complain to except for Johnson.
"I can guarantee you there is no partner in a law firm in Sacramento that makes paralegals undress him, put lotion on him, dry him off and re-dress him as part of their job duties," Peters said.
Johnson has not responded to requests for interviews and a sign placed on his front door after the lawsuit was filed said he would not speak to the media.
Peters said she's been contacted by lawyers representing more than 50 businesses that were sued by Johnson wanting to know if he, in fact, ever made a personal visit.
All three women said they had planned to make a career in the legal field, but Kem and Lucas said they are no longer interested because of their experience with Johnson.
Lucas said she went to work for Johnson because she has disabled family members and initially believed in what he was doing.
Lucas broke down in tears when asked if she still believes Johnson is looking out for disabled people.
"No. He's looking out for his bank account," she said.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net