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City officials quiet about police raids

Staff writer

City and county officials have largely remained mum about a police raid Friday on the Record newsroom, the home of its co-owners, and the home of vice mayor Ruth Herbel.

City administrator Brogan Jones said he wasn’t in the office Friday.

“We were still babying,” Jones said, referring to the birth of his and his wife’s daughter.

The city has received “a lot of calls,” Jones said, about police officers and sheriff’s deputies seizing computer equipment and cell phones in a case the Kansas Bureau of Investigations is leading.

“I’m sure it’s not done yet,” Jones said.

Jones wasn’t sure whether council members would discuss the raids at their meeting Monday.

Sheriff Jeff Soyez declined to comment, referring all questions to the KBI.

Marion Mayor David Mayfield didn’t return two phone calls to his cell phone — one at 10:07 a.m. Monday and one at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday. In both cases, his phone rang directly to voicemail.

City council member Kevin Burkholder didn’t return messages left at 10:02 a.m. Monday and 9:52 a.m. Tuesday.

Calls at 10:06 a.m. Monday and 4:16 p.m. Tuesday to council member Zach Collett’s cell phone went directly to a recorded message that said voicemail had not been set up. The Record also left a message for Collett with city clerk Janet Robinson at 12:39 p.m. Monday.

City council member Jerry Kline, who is not seeking re-election, said that he didn’t think the raids were appropriate and that he didn’t know about them beforehand.

Herbel noted that a search warrant for her home hadn’t been signed.

Law enforcement officers were at her home for three hours and 15 minutes, taking her computer and a cell phone. She and her 88-year-old husband, Ron, who has dementia and is disabled, do not have a land line. Herbel went to McPherson to get a new phone.

“If I’d needed an ambulance, I wouldn’t have been able to call one,” she said. “It was not appropriate, that’s for sure.”

Herbel planned to hire an attorney.

“Somebody needs to be held accountable on this,” she said.

Last modified Aug. 17, 2023

 

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