Newly retired Wichita police captain criminally charged for sharing confidential documents

A newly retired WPD captain, with the department for nearly 29 years, faces charges in Sedgwick County District Court.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita Police Department on Friday confirmed a newly retired captain, with the department for nearly 29 years, faces charges in Sedgwick County District Court on eight counts of computer crimes. Captain Wendell Nicholson’s last day with the WPD was Thursday, March 23.

“As this is now a pending legal matter, neither the WPD or the City will have further comment. Questions regarding this matter should be directed to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office,” WPD said in a news release.

Records from the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office show in the counts Nicholson faces, he did “knowingly exceed the limits of authorization and damage, modify, alter, destroy, copy, disclose or take possession of a computer, computer system, computer network, or other property.”

The “property” listed with the counts include WPD DEA KNR reports, gang bulletins, WPD morning reports, WPD shooting reviews, WPD emails, an AXON (body cam) recording, a WPD information bulletin and a WPD Professional Standard Bureau document.

FactFinder 12 first learned about Nicholson’s connection with several different accusations of sharing confidential police documents in October of last year. From then until now, about five months, FactFinder 12 investigator Hailey Tucker emailed back and forth with the city and WPD, asking when this information would become public. Nicholson was officially charged and 12 News was notified of that by the WPD at 4:46 p.m. Friday, March 24.

Since last year, FactFinder 12 repeatedly emailed about Nicholson. In October, November, December, January, and most recently Wednesday, one day before Nicholson’s retirement and two days before charges against him were filed.

FactFinder 12 asked why Nicholson was allowed to take leave and then retire before charges were filed. The city responded saying, “anybody who is eligible to retire with the Wichita Police Department can choose to retire when he or she decides to.”

We still don’t know with whom Nicholson was accused of sharing these documents. In FactFinder 12 emails to the city, feedback either includes a statement that they can’t comment on personnel matters, or no response at all. FactFinder 12 also emailed Wichita City Council members and Mayor Brandon Whipple about Nicholson.

In October, FactFinder 12 requested documents about an internal investigation about a separate accusation involving Nicholson of which multiple sources said Wichita City Manager Robert Layton had a copy. That request for documents was denied and that information was not in the DA’s charges.