An Ada attorney’s turn in the spotlight begins with the April issue of Oklahoma Magazine.
Erik C. Johnson, 39, was selected for the magazine’s 40 Under 40 feature, which showcases 40 of the state’s top young professionals. Johnson is one of five attorneys profiled in this year’s feature, which includes a priest, a specialist in infectious diseases and the senior business development manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
The feature appears in the upcoming issue and is available on the magazine’s website, complete with online interviews.
The magazine reviewed nominations submitted by the candidates’ peers and professional associates before selecting the members of this year’s class, according to the website. Johnson was nominated by Dr. Jeff Hale, president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami.
A year and a half ago, Johnson coordinated a nearly $600,000 bequest from the town of Picher for NEO A&M, he said Wednesday. The former mining town in northeast Oklahoma is in the middle of the Tar Sands Superfund Site, the largest and one of the most polluted Superfund sites in the country.
The federal government bought out Picher’s residents in 2008 and provided funds to help people relocate to other communities.
Johnson said Ottawa County and the state both wanted to claim money in Picher’s general fund that was left over from a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Johnson said he had negotiated the $1.4 million settlement on Picher’s behalf.
“We paid off this water tower and paid off some of the other debts as we were closing, because it was a lead-impacted mining community — Superfund site — they were shutting down,” he said. “The county and the state were trying to lay claim to the monies, and we were able to fight that little fight and allow the town of Picher to contribute it to NEO A&M.”