There is a crazy story coming out of Marion County, Kansas, and it’s quickly getting national attention.
Reports have surfaced that the small town newspaper was investigating the police chief, Gideon Cody, 54, who orchestrated the raid for sexual misconduct.
According to reports, restaurant owner Kari Newell complained during a City Council meeting that the Marion Country Record illegally obtained information about her for an upcoming story. Newell said the paper’s allegations were that she lost her license after being convicted of DUI and that she was still driving.
Newell also took her complaint to the Police, who somehow got a search warrant and conducted the raid.
From Fox News:
Kansas police raided a local newspaper’s newsroom and its publisher’s home on Friday and seized computers, cellphones and reporting materials in what critics are calling a violation of the Freedom of the Press.
Marion Police removed the Marion County Record’s computer file server, other computers, personal cell phones and other equipment, the outlet reported. Officers injured a reporter and the newspaper’s nearly 100-year-old co-owner died a day after the search.
A search warrant signed by Marion County District Court Magistrate Judge Laura Viar claimed probable cause over alleged violations related to identity theft and unlawful acts concerning computers, according to the Kansas Reflector.
Not only was the paper’s office raided but so was the home of the publisher, Eric Meyer. The raid was so jarring that Meyer’s wife, Joan, 98, co-owner, died a few days later “stressed beyond her limits and overwhelmed by the hours of shock and grief.”
The paper is going on the offense as well, stating that they did not seek out any information but were given a tip from a source who also gave it to Marion Councilwoman Ruth Herbel.
As a matter of fact, the paper claims they had decided not to publish the information they verified through public records because they believed it was “intentionally leaked to the newspaper as part of legal sparring between Newell and her estranged husband.”
It has also been learned that Newell publicly posted on Facebook that she lost her license and kept driving anyway.
From the Dailymail:
He became chief of the Marion County Police Department in late April, after leaving the Kansas City police amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Cody took the job after retiring as a captain in Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked for 24 years.
The Marion County Record received an ‘outpouring of calls,’ Eric Meyer said, claiming Cody had retired from his last police post to avoid demotion over sexual misconduct allegations.
Meyer said his newspaper was contacted by Cody’s former colleagues about the claims of sexual misconduct, but that the six-plus anonymous sources ultimately never went on the record and reporters could not obtain Cody’s personnel file.
Kansas City police have refused to reveal whether Cody was accused of sexual misconduct while working at their force.
Meyer said the identity of the sources was on the computer servers, which Cody’s team seized.
Look, the media has been a nightmare the past few years, but what took place in Kansas is just ridiculous. We’ll have to sit back and watch to see what happens next. After all, a judge did sign off on the search warrant, so maybe the authorities had something compelling, but if not, they are in a heap of trouble.