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Former colleague among those calling on Kan. Sen. Gene Suellentrop to resign

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 3:47 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Court documents released Thursday, April 8, reveal new details into the March 16 DUI arrest of Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop. Not only does the account of what happened show that the state senator was driving drunk and led officers on a high-speed chase, it also claims that he physically threatened an officer while in police custody. Now, some former colleagues are calling on Suellentrop to resign.

Among them is Stephanie Yeager who served with Suellentrop in the Kansas legislature for years and now works closely with DUI victims.

“This is not someone who should be sitting in our Senate,” Yeager said. “I mean, his district deserves better. Kansas deserves better, and it is something that affects all of Kansas.”

The affidavit detailing charges against Suellentrop said his blood-alcohol level was 0.17, more than twice the legal limit. The affidavit also said the senator called an officer “donut boy,” and told an officer he believed he could “take him” because he played sports competitively in high school.

“It was outrageous, because it risked the lives of those on the road, and we heard that in the 911 calls, people were very scared,” Yeager said. “There was property damage involved, there was a car accident involved. To hear the disrespect and the additional danger that officers were put in by the majority leader, this is a senator who could not have the respect to one, stop, or not try to physically assault officers or call them names in interviews.”

Officers arrested Suellentrop after investigators said he was driving the wrong way on Interstate 70 and led police on a chase. The affidavit revealed that speeds reached 90 miles per hour in a 60 mile-per-hour zone.

“I wish that I could tell you that the senate president, fellow senators would call on his resignation, but I don’t know. They should have done that from the beginning,” Yeager said. “That’s accountability, that’s personal, and it’s especially important when you are a community leader.”

Eyewitness News on Thursday reached out to Senate President Ty Masterson and other Kansas legislative leadership, but were told they would have to review all of the information in the case before they could comment.

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