The Marion County mayor has defended the cops who raided a local Kansas newspaper and elderly co-owner Joan Meyer’s home – and blamed the judge for approving the search warrant.
Mayor David Mayfield said he’s not ‘sure exactly what they did wrong’ when the police department raided the Marion County Record office in Kansas on August 11.
Mayfield contends that if there were any worries or doubts with the search warrants, the county attorney or judge should have rejected them beforehand.
It was signed off by Magistrate Judge Laura Viar, and the raids were personally led by Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody – triggering a First Amendment debate across the country.
Mayor David Mayfield said he’s not ‘sure exactly what they did wrong’ when the police department raided the Marion County Record office on August 11
The raid, carried out on August 11, was personally led by Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody ( at center). Only sworn in May, he is facing allegations he violated a reporter’s constitutional rights by seizing her phone during the raid – a move the paper’s publisher says was motivated by the woman’s investigating into his background with another police department
Mayor David Mayfield told The Wichita Eagle: ‘I mean, everybody’s looking at Marion like we’re a bunch of hicks now.
‘And the police department just did what the judge allowed them to do.’
Questioning the prosecutor who decided to pull the search warrants five days after they’d been executed, he added: ‘Why didn’t he (Ensey) do that in the first place?’
He also that he was ‘perplexed’ that Cody was receiving criticism.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigations took over the investigation days after the newspaper’s computers and publishing equipment were seized because there were suspicions that the pillage had taken place without proper reasoning from the cops.
They found that there indeed wasn’t enough evidence to have launched the tirade against the local paper – and revoked the warrant.
However, retroactively withdrawing the search warrant did not undo the most tragic aspect of the unfolding story in Kansas.
Video released by the newspaper two days earlier showed just how upsetting the simultaneous raid a few miles away was to the mother of publisher Eric Meyer, 98-year-old Bonnie, who died the next day. Her son said he is also planning to file suit
Meyer was distraught at the police raid on her newspaper, died ‘mid-sentence’ half a day after the still-shrouded operation
Police seized computers, personal cellphones, and a router during the filmed ordeal, all of which were released Wednesday after the county prosecutor concluded there was not enough evidence to justify the action
Newspaper co-owner Joan Meyer, 98, died from the grief and stress she felt after the entire Marion Police Department raided her belongings at her home for hours.
She was sobbing, couldn’t eat, and died mid-sentence just 12 hours after the ordeal.
During the ordeal, it also emerged that Cody was also being investigated by the newspaper over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Cody became chief of the Marion County Police Department in late April, after leaving the Kansas City police amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
It was Kari Newell, 46, who accused the Marion County Record of getting her 2008 DUI information illegally, which would have disrupted her request for a liquor license – triggering the multiple police raids.
Attorney Rhodes has slammed police chief Cody for instigating the raid at the 98-year-old woman’s home himself.
He said: ‘Can he spell hypocrisy? This was his affidavit. His investigation and his search. He (Cody) drove to the house to personally search the house of a 98-year-old who had nothing to do with this. A woman who died the next day.’
Cody, 54, alleged in unreleased court documents that the search was enacted after another reporter either impersonated someone else or lied about her intentions when she obtained the driving records of a local liquor store owner
Meyer seen outside the Record office two weeks ago, claims the paper had received an calls claiming Cody had retired from his last post to avoid demotion over alleged sex misconduct
Bundles of copies of this week’s edition of the paper are stacked up on the floor behind the front desk in the newspaper’s office
When Cody was fronted by reporters, he refused to answer any questions, and instead said: ‘Do you realize how angry KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigations) will be at me if I start talking about their case at this point?’
Following the scandal and the federal lawsuit, the small newspaper said that they were inundated with several year-long subscriptions.
Cody, 54, alleged in unreleased court documents that the reporter, identified as Deb Gruver, either impersonated someone else or lied about her intentions when she obtained the driving records of a local liquor store owner.
Only sworn in May, Cody is facing allegations he violated the woman’s constitutional rights by seizing her phone – a move the paper’s publisher says was motivated by the reporter’s investigating into his background with a different police department.
It’s believed the identity theft allegations were a convenient excuse for the search – which cops have yet to explain, according to the outlet.