Things We Lost In The Fire

In this updated report, we at The Legendary have repaired broken links to the documents stored on a remote cloud. They may now be downloaded in their entirety…

The Glock 27 is a sub-compact cop shop hot rod in .40 cal. S&W

Six Shooter Junction – No cop shop scandal with complications at the fire station would be complete without a gun, placed high in the story.

It’s the stuff of legends, the subject of Internal Affairs probes and Grand Jury investigations.

Just goes with the territory, and it’s no less true in the tale about the way Lt. Kevin Fisk wound up in a heap of trouble over how and why Ashley Dawn Rogers and her kids lost their lives on February 16, 2012 when her trailer house exploded in the sudden conflagration he says was ordered and carried out by the Texas Aryan Brotherhood, a prison gang with its roots in California and its fingers in the synthesis and sales of methamphetamine, auto theft and extortion.

Said Fisk during initial interviews with The Legendary, “They keep the cops and firemen fighting each other all the time – everywhere. They don’t want them to get together and start moving the same direction.”

One of the items to be herein discussed was at one time part of an Internal Affairs Division investigation derailed by former Fire Chief John Johnston and Fire Marshal Kevin Vranich in what Fisk came to think of as a “quid pro quo” arrangement with what he has described as multiple moving parts.

On October 1, 2014, Fisk had an appointment with an Internal Affairs investigator to go over his records and recollections regarding certain procedural irregularities in both departments, primarily where his investigation of the Ashley Dawn Rogers case interfered with the agenda of certain other detectives and command staffers.

The meeting was scheduled for a little after the noon hour, but when he arrived for work that morning, he was ordered to a conference room at department headquarters and confronted with an allegation of “critical incident stress,” something Vranich said amounted to an injury that was affecting his objectivity.

Fisk didn’t see it that way. He still says he was not injured, and he refused to fill out any workman’s compensation paperwork to that effect. The officials subsequently removed him from any active follow-up investigations of fires of questionable origin past the initial reports. He eventually wound up on administrative leave pending an psychiatric evaluation. By the time the dispute was resolved, Fisk claims, he was “determined by at least 5 medical professionals to be ‘fit for duty.'”

When he finally made it to his appointment at IAD, he learned that both Johnston and Vranich had been simultaneously summoned to Chief of Police Brent Stroman’s office, then visited the Risk Manager for further consultation about his status.

In the ensuing hassle that stretched into late 2016, he never got a chance to see his internal affairs allegations reach any real conclusion, but two documents leaked to The Legendary give a clear idea of which way the wind was blowing.

In this first set of documents, Fisk documents how Vranich represented that a set of 9 Glock pistols – four of which were property of individual officers and 5 owned by the City of Waco were all government property, not to be sold or transferred. Falsification of the documents are prima facie evidence of a federal felony, a violation of a subsection of 18 US Code. 

During a confusing period of administrative adjustment to the task, Vranich told the three other men to hold their payments of $75 each for the trade-in. One weapon belonged to Vranich himself. When an administrative staffer was asked about it, she expressed confusion, saying she knew the purchase to involve only weapons owned by the City of Waco. 

Amid the the frustrations recorded in the paper trail, it emerged that Vranich completed and signed two documents regarding Fisk’s trade-in Glock 27 sub-compact .40 S&W caliber pistol as well as the three others, as having been obtained for the sole use of the City of Waco, and not for resale or transfer. One of the forms was a standard Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Treasury Department form.

He alleges that this documented falsehood is a perpetration of a third degree felony violation of a subsection of 18 US Code regarding falsification of official government documents.

I just happened to visit G.T. Distributors when I was in Austin last week,” he said. “I gave them copies of my documentation, just so they would know where they stand in this.”

In a second series of documents, two events which occurred long before Fisk’s meeting with Waco Police Internal Affairs are described in police reports, one in Robinson, the other at an apartment complex in Waco – during which Chief Johnston’s wife Sherre Johnston allegedly screamed imprecations at police officers whom she urged to arrest her daughter’s boyfriend for drugs after they found none, waved a 14-inch butcher knife with a serrated edge, and cut the shoulder of her daughter’s boyfriend during a confrontation.

Though Chief Johnston claimed in remarks to the union’s president that there was no truth to reports that he kicked in doors at his daughter’s apartment, the documents clearly show that he did so when he thought the young woman was inside preparing to kill herself with a razor blade.

Police reports released to the Johnstons’ daughter Taylor recount how she was found in a bathtub, cutting patterns on her naked thighs because it is easier to bear that kind of pain than it is to endure the strife of her mother’s wrath, she explained to Waco police. The officers took her to a local hospital for treatment, where she was released after evaluation of her condition.

The end result, according to Officer Steven Ashworth in a final report, is the series of serious offenses against the person and property were “exceptionally cleared.”

Booking records obtained from the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office show that Mrs. Johnston has been arrested three times recently for DWI, unlawfully carrying a weapon, and failure to identify.

A description of her employment at the time of her last arrest showed she worked for Private Investigator Truman Simon, a former Lieutenant of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office.  A notation on the documents shows that her permit had lapsed at the time.

Chief Johnston later accepted a demotion from the top job at the Fire Department to that of an Assistant Chief and thereby received Civil Service protection not afforded to the “at-will” employment status of a city department head.

After 30 years on the job, 12 as Chief, Johnston sent a memo to his staff on September 16, 2015, saying that as of January 1, 2016, “Being Chief is a very time consuming job and requires a lot of energy and attention. I need God to be number one in my life, family second and job third…I am stepping back into an Assistant Chief role. I will be one of 4 Assistant Chiefs.”

The announcement came 15 days after the death of former Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike McNamara.

Mrs. Johnston endured a hot 15 minutes of fame when she found a close friend, long-time law man Mike McNamara, suffering a fatal heart attack in the parking lot of a steak house on Franklin Avenue in Waco. She called 9-1-1 operators and became rather hysterical when the woman who answered the emergency call began to ask questions. The tense moments were captured on tape.

Fisk has previously disclosed that he has much of his original documentation stored digitally, including computer files, interviews and photos, and that according to his attorney, it is his personal property, protected by attorney-client privilege since he turned it over to the lawyer.

There is much other evidence of alleged legal violations by police and firemen, he has said. He insists he does not want to place himself in a position in which he may be accused of interfering with an ongoing investigation.

Both the fire that took the lives of Ashley Dawn Rogers and her children and the internal affairs probe are said to be open cases.

When last heard from, Kevin Fisk, who just obtained a spanking new private investigator’s license from a bureau of the Department of Public Safety, was headed for KWTX Channel 10 to consult with news anchor Gordon Collier about a documentary presentation of his story by that news outlet.

Sherre Johnston (r) recently opened “Ricochet,” a boutique located in the Central Texas Marketplace, that specializes in trendy party dresses 

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