The former Kansas chief of police who led the raid on the local newspaper just days after being suspended from his duties resigned Monday. After a national controversy that lasted for weeks over the decision of law enforcement to raid the Marion County Record on thinly veiled allegations of identity fraud, the former Kansas police chief who was behind the raid resigned on Monday.
The Mayor announced his resignation on Tuesday.
Gideon Cody resigned as the police chief of a small Kansas town who led a raid against the Marion County Record on Monday, according to Marion Mayor David Mayfield.
Mayfield hired Cody during the spring and then suspended him without explanation last week.
Mayfield, the Marion City Council member who announced Cody’s resignation, declined to speak to reporters following the meeting. He also did not offer any explanation as to why Cody left.
With the council’s consent, Mayfield appointed Marion Officer Zach Hudlin to be acting chief.
The mayor had previously defended Cody and stated that he would wait until the Kansas Bureau of Investigation completed its investigation into the raids before taking any action. He reversed this decision last week and suspended Cody. He refused to say why.
Cody left the Kansas City Police Department under suspicious circumstances to work in Marion. The reporter who asked him about his background led to the raid on The Record’s newsroom.
The raid on the paper sparked a national discussion on the First Amendment’s right to freedom and press. The raid was conducted on the newspaper’s newsroom, as well as the home of its owners Joan Meyer and their son Eric. The raid was conducted by law enforcement after a reporter of the newspaper checked information about a local woman’s driving record. She was confirming the statements of a confidential source that Kari Nelle, owner of a local restaurant, had a DUI on her record. The reporter had begun investigating Cody’s past as a law enforcement officer when she decided to raid the restaurant.
The warrant was obtained by law enforcement claiming the reporter committed identity theft after she checked Newell’s records in a public directory. Video footage showed officers searching the home of Joan Meyer, 98. She died the next day. Her son said that the stress from the encounter was too great for her.
The prosecutor later rescinded this warrant after stating that there was not enough evidence for the police to have issued it. It is interesting to note that the judge who approved the warrant had at least one DUI in her past. She now faces a misconduct charge.
Those who were the victims of Cody’s raid welcomed the news of his suspension.
The suspension of Cody is a major reversal by the mayor who had previously stated that he would await the results of an investigation conducted by the state police before taking any action.
Vice-Mayor Ruth Herbel praised Cody’s suspension, saying it was “the best thing to happen to Marion at this time” in the town of 1,900 residents located in central Kansas.
As investigators continue to dig into the case, new developments are revealed. The question is, will anyone who was involved in the controversy receive justice?