Home News Sheriff who authorized raid of small Kansas newspaper suspended

Sheriff who authorized raid of small Kansas newspaper suspended


Chance Swaim and Katie Moore
The Wichita Eagle

Marion Mayor David Mayfield suspended Police Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday, a reversal of an earlier decision to allow him to continue working while the Kansas Bureau of Investigation probed his raid of the Marion County Record.

The Record, the newspaper which was raided last month under Cody’s command in an incident that spurred international outrage, first broke the news of the police chief’s suspension on Friday afternoon.

An employee in the city administrator’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Wichita Eagle and Kansas City Star that Cody was suspended as of Thursday.

Mayfield later confirmed his decision in an email to The Eagle.

“I can confirm that I suspended chief Cody,” Mayfield wrote. “I cannot comment further as this is a personnel matter.”

Mayfield previously defended Cody’s actions, saying he didn’t understand what he did wrong. The decision comes as the KBI has expanded its investigation into whether Cody asked restaurant owner Kari Newell to delete text messages.

Marion City Administrator Brogan Jones alerted some council members about the suspension on Friday, The Record reported.

Jones did not notify Vice Mayor Ruth Herbel, whose home was also raided by Cody and his officers as part of an investigation into how records about a local restaurant owner’s DUI were accessed, according to The Record. Herbel said she plans to file a federal lawsuit.

The raids unfolded Aug. 11.

In the application for a search warrant, Cody wrote that he was investigating identity theft and unlawful acts concerning computers. The case pertained to Newell’s driving records.

A day after the raid, Joan Meyer, the mother of Eric Meyer, died from sudden cardiac arrest.

Five days after the raid, Marion County Prosecutor Joel Ensey said “that insufficient evidence exists to establish” a strong connection “between the alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized.” The items were returned.

The newspaper said a reporter had accessed information from the Kansas Department of Revenue website that was open to the public.

A different reporter filed a federal lawsuit in late August alleging that her cellphone was illegally seized and her finger was injured by Cody during the raid.

Cody left the Kansas City Police Department in April while under internal review for allegedly making insulting and sexist comments to a female officer. In May, he was sworn in as Marion’s new police chief.

This story was originally published September 29, 2023, 3:26 PM.


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