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“Depending on his income during the time they agreed upon whatever amount, if he lost his job $12,000 could feel like $12 million,” Detective Douglas said. “If he ended up getting great raises, $12,000 might be a checkbook away.”

The warrant became an issue last week, when someone draped a large banner across fencing near the Rockville campus announcing the unsatisfied Arizona debt. The banner was hung a day after faculty members voted no confidence in Mr. Johnson’s leadership.

Elizabeth Homan, a college spokeswoman, said Mr. Johnson’s employment is determined by the Board of Trustees, which issued a statement Friday regarding its vote of no-confidence.

“The Montgomery College Board of Trustees is aware of the concerns raised by the faculty about the leadership of President Brian K. Johnson. As the governing body for Montgomery College, please be assured that we take these concerns seriously,” said board Chairman Michael C. Lin. The board declined further comment.

Mr. Johnson responded to his colleagues by e-mail Friday discussing his role as, “a position of stewardship, standing accountable for the well-being of the larger organization.”

“I will respond to specific questions and concerns in an appropriate manner in the near future,” he wrote in the e-mail.