Former Aspen Skiing Co. executive and Aspen city councilman Derek Johnson has been released from state prison and is currently residing at a halfway house, sources said last week.
Johnson, 53, was rejected from a similar program — known as “community corrections” — in Garfield County in February, said Assistant District Attorney Ben Sollars. Though Sollars serves on the Garfield County Community Corrections Board, he said he didn’t recall the exact reasons for the rejection.
“We always saw this case as something that warranted a sentence to the Department of Corrections,” he said, citing the large amount of money and merchandise stolen, the long years of deception, the breach of trust and the impact to the community. “That didn’t change … in a short amount of time (Johnson served behind bars).”
Sollars said he was told by the Department of Corrections that Johnson was in the Adams County Community Corrections program. However, a representative of that program said Thursday that Johnson was not placed there and suggested trying Arapahoe County, which can be confused with Adams County.
Brad Kemper, who runs the Arapahoe County Community Corrections program, said Thursday that Johnson was placed in the Jefferson County Community Corrections program.
Messages left for the Jefferson County program were not returned. Annie Skinner, the spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Corrections, declined to provide information as to where Johnson currently resides.
Phone messages left for Johnson’s lawyer and his wife, Kerri Johnson, also were not returned.
Johnson pleaded guilty in November 2019 to one count of felony theft between $100,000 and $1 million for methodically stealing and selling more than 13,000 pairs of Skico-owned skis valued at $6 million over more than 12 years. Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin sentenced him to six years in prison in late January 2020.
Sollars said that inmates who apply for a community corrections program indicate a primary location and a secondary location where they’d like to serve out the rest of their sentence. After the Garfield County rejection in February, he was apparently accepted into the secondary program not long after, said Aspen prosecuto