Erica Johnson, 39, was found dead late Monday in her mother’s High Point home. Johnson was Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s communications manager but resigned effective Dec. 2, 2011, shortly after she returned from a medical leave.
Johnson graduated with honors from Howard University and worked as a media relations coordinator at Walt Disney World and as an assignment editor at WXII-TV in Winston-Salem before she joined the Charlotte Chamber as vice president for public relations.
Johnson joined the mayor’s office in the winter of 2010, shortly after Foxx was elected in November 2009, to help coordinate events and work with media and city residents.
Some Republicans on city council, and even some in Foxx’s own party, criticized the hire, accused the mayor of wasting tax dollars at a time when the city, like the rest of the nation, was mired in an economic slump.
In an email announcing her departure last year, Johnson thanked Foxx for a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve you and the citizens of Charlotte as communications manager in the Office of the Mayor,” she wrote.
It was during Johnson's medical leave that the mayor's other assistant, Tracy Montross, went on the attack seeking reimbursement from Charlotte International Cabinet for the mayor's China trip.
There was no word on Johnson's cause of death or the nature of her previous medical leave.
Hat Tip to QCityMetro for breaking this story.
Update July 20, 2012: The Charlotte Observer has published Ms. Johnson's obituary which is here. Cedar Posts has no information that Ms. Johnson's death was due to drugs or anything else other than natural causes. Comments stating otherwise are pure speculation.