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Police chief who raided small Kansas newspaper resigns

Chance Swaim, The Kansas City Star on

Published in News & Features

Gideon Cody, the small-town Kansas police chief who spearheaded a raid on the Marion County Record, resigned Monday, Marion Mayor David Mayfield said.

Mayfield hired Cody in the spring and suspended him last week without explanation.

At Monday’s Marion City Council meeting, Mayfield announced Cody handed in his resignation before the meeting, “effective immediately.”

Cody left the Kansas City Police Department under suspicious circumstances. His raid of The Record newsroom followed questions from a reporter about his background.

In the application for a search warrant, Cody wrote that he was investigating identity theft and unlawful acts concerning computers. The case pertained to local businesswoman Kari Newell’s driving records.

Searches unfolded at the newsroom; the home of Joan Meyer and her son Eric Meyer, who own the paper; and City Council member Ruth Herbel.


Five days after the raid, Marion County Prosecutor Joel Ensey said “that insufficient evidence exists to establish” a strong connection “between the alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized.” The items were returned.

The newspaper said a reporter had accessed information from the Kansas Department of Revenue website that was open to the public.

A different reporter filed a federal lawsuit in late August alleging that her cellphone was illegally seized and her finger was injured by Cody during the raid. Additional lawsuits are expected to be filed. One of them could include a wrongful death claim after Joan Meyer died from cardiac arrest the day after the raid.


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