Former Riley Co. Officer Dismisses Suit Against Department, Law Board

Mark Bylkas
By  | 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A former Riley County Police narcotics detective has dropped his federal lawsuit against the department.

Mark Bylkas was fired from the department amid allegations over missing cocaine evidence and other charges.

Mike Gillespie, the legal adviser for the Riley County Police Department and attorney for the Riley County Law Board, announced Friday that the lawsuit was dismissed by Bylkas on Thursday. The suit named past and present RCPD officer and Riley County Law Board members.

Bylkas initially was fired in May 2010 following an arrest on two felony misconduct charges and a theft charge. RCPD director Brad Schoen placed him on suspension at the time and said he would remain on suspension pending completion of a criminal investigation. Officials say charges have yet to be filed against Bylkas, pending further investigations by outside agencies.

Bylkas filed his federal complaint in July 2011, alleging he was cut from the force and falsely accused of a crime in retaliation for reporting misconduct among other RCPD officers.

He was suing the Riley County Law Board, Police Director Brad Schoen and other officers for wrongful termination. In his complaint, Bylkas states that he became aware that a member of his command staff was fabricating time sheets to cover up a string of extramarital affairs. When Bylkas reported it to supervisors, he claims members of the department turned on him and started to harass him in an effort to get him to quit his job. Bylkas says the harassment culminated in the initiation of a "false and fraudulent charge" and alleges that he was fired to hide the misconduct he identified.

In January, he asked a federal judge for more time to file an amended complaint.

No reason was given for the dismissal. Gillespie said the dismissal was unopposed by all of the defendants named in the lawsuit. He told members of the media that current RCPD Director Brad Schoen, Assistant Director John Doehling, Captain Richard Fink, and former Sergeant Michael Boller all agreed to unconditionally allow the suit to be dropped. No settlement was paid, according to Gillespie.

Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson says a special prosecutor continues to review an investigation into the missing evidence that was done by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Kansas Attorney General's Office to determine whether Bylkas could face any criminal charges. Wilkerson will not name the prosecutor and does not have a time line on when the review will be complete. Wilkerson says his office isn't handling the case because one of his assistant county attorneys is listed as a witness in the Bylkas criminal case. Wilkerson is also a member of the Riley County Law Board, which was named in Bylkas' civil suit.