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Senate Majority Leader will not get special consideration from Shawnee County D.A.’s office

Kansas Senate Majority Leader, Gene Suellentrop (R). (March 17, 2021)
Kansas Senate Majority Leader, Gene Suellentrop (R). (March 17, 2021)(WIBW)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County’s District Attorney says no one, including Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, will get special treatment from his office.

The senator was arrested Tuesday on charges of driving under the influence and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement. He was released by the court because there were elements missing from the affidavit to provide probable cause.

“I had the opportunity to review that same charging affidavit, that affidavit that the judge did, and it was missing one or more of the elements that are required and so the court did what the court was supposed to do. You know, the judge followed the law, and that’s the role of the judge,” District Attorney Mike Kagay told 13 News Thursday.

However, his office is now awaiting the completion of the Kansas Highway Patrol’s investigation to decide whether or not his office will officially file criminal charges against Senator Suellentrop. KHP has said that their report could be completed as early as the end of next week. Kagay says once his office receives the report and video, they could make a determination about filing charges in as little as a few days.

Three attorneys in the charging unit will review the evidence and make a recommendation. Kagay says the fact that Suellentrop is a senator and the chamber’s majority leader will not make a difference.

“I am very confident in saying that I don’t really care what somebody’s background is, who they are, who they know, where they come from, what they believe; none of those factors come into play,” Kagay insisted. “My responsibility is to fairly, and impartially, and objectively apply the laws of the State of Kansas. And, when we have evidence that a crime has been committed in Shawnee County, we proceed accordingly.”

If Kagay’s office does pursue charges, the court clerk will assign the case to a criminal judge. Kagay’s office has prosecutors assigned to each criminal division, and one would be selected based on the severity of the charges.

The investigation remains active, and Senator Suellentrop does not currently face any criminal charges.

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