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Senate leadership reviewing how to move forward in light of Suellentrop charges

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, follows a discussion during a...
Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, follows a discussion during a meeting of fellow GOP senators Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Suellentrop is stepping away from most of his duties as majority leader following his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and attempting to flee law enforcement. (AP Photo/Andy Tsubasa Field)(AP/Andy Tsubasa Field)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Sen. Gene Suellentrop’s status in the Kansas Senate is up for discussion.

In a statement Friday night, Senate President Ty Masterson and Vice President Rick Wilborn said, in light of the formal charges, they are talking to their members.

“We have begun reaching out to other members of the Republican caucus about how to proceed most effectively moving forward,” their statement reads. “Our highest priority is to keep working without distraction for Kansas families and businesses as the state reopens.”

Shawnee Co. District Attorney Mike Kagay filed five counts against Suellentrop, including felony eluding or attempting to elude; misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and reckless driving; plus traffic infractions for driving the wrong way on a highway and speeding.

The charges stem from his March 16th arrest, when witnesses spotted him driving the wrong way on I-470 at Burlingame Rd., on the south side of Topeka. KHP troopers spotted him on I-70 at Gage, and finally stopped him near 8th St. downtown.

Masterson and Wilborn says the allegations in the criminal complaint are very serious.

“We trust the legal process will ensure due process and a just resolution. We are thankful that no one was injured, and we continue to pray for Gene and his family,” they said in the statement.

Full statement from Sens. Ty Masterson and Rick Wilborn:

“This evening, we learned that the Shawnee County District Attorney announced he has filed several

charges against Senator Suellentrop. The complaint’s allegations are very serious, and we trust the

legal process will ensure due process and a just resolution. We are thankful that no one was injured,

and we continue to pray for Gene and his family.

“Last week, Senator Suellentrop took the prudent step of transferring the bulk of his duties to our

Assistant Majority Leader. Over the past 10 days, the Senate has proceeded successfully with the

people’s business and that will continue for the few remaining days of this year’s session.

“Upon learning of these formal charges, we have begun reaching out to other members of the

Republican caucus about how to proceed most effectively moving forward.

“Our highest priority is to keep working without distraction for Kansas families and businesses as the state reopens.”

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