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Police chief resigns nearly 2 months after raid on Kansas newspaper

Gideon Cody's resignation came one day after a Scripps News Kansas City investigation revealed eye-opening witness evidence.
Police chief resigns nearly 2 months after raid on Kansas newspaper
Posted at 6:44 AM, Oct 03, 2023

Gideon Cody is out as the police chief of Marion, Kansas, after coming under intense criticism for a raid on the town's newspaper and his handling of documents and computer files taken in the raid.

On Monday, Cody announced his resignation to the city's mayor before the City Council meeting. Cody's resignation is effective immediately.

Marion County Mayor David Mayfield, who confirmed Cody's departure, did not provide any further information. Eric Meyer, owner of Marion County Record newspaper, said he learned of the resignation during a City Council meeting Monday.

"I didn’t see it coming," Meyer said. "I thought the suspension would hold for awhile but it didn’t seem to."

SEE MORE: News organizations condemn police raid of Kansas newspaper

On Thursday, Scripps News Kansas City's Jessica McMaster reported a key witness in the case said she was directed by Cody to delete text messages. Mayfield, who for weeks has been called upon by citizens to suspend Cody, issued the suspension one day after McMaster's story aired.

Meyer said his mother, Joan Meyer, who died one day after police raided her home, would be happy about Cody's departure.

"I think she’d take some pride in the fact that she managed to accomplish something by getting people to pay attention to this story," Meyer said.

The home of Ruth Herbel, vice mayor of Marion, was also raided.

The case that sparked the raids involved the driving record of Kari Newell, a local restaurant owner. During a late August interview, Newell told McMaster that Cody informed her via text message she was the victim of crime.

The day of Newell’s interview, Newell said she no longer had the text messages between her and Cody.

Days after the interview, Newell told McMaster she deleted the text messages at the chief's behest.

“I did make mention that I didn’t know the necessity of that because there was nothing inappropriate in the text messages,” Newell said in an interview this week.

SEE MORE: Reporters push for answers after Kansas raids on newspaper owners

Newell said the chief’s request came after the raids as rumors began to circulate about Newell and Cody’s relationship, which Newell insists is platonic.

According to Newell, the chief didn't want people to draw conclusions about their relationship based off the texts.

“I kind of agreed and so I did delete those messages against my better judgment and immediately regretted it,” Newell said in Thursday's story.

While Meyer said Cody's resignation is a step forward when it comes to accountability, there are still other officials who need to be held accountable.

Magistrate Judge Laura Viar signed off on Cody's warrants, which several legal experts have said provided no probable cause of a crime. Joel Ensey, Marion County Attorney, refuses to say whether or not he viewed the warrants prior to the raids.

Ensey revoked the warrants after the raids.

"The wagons seem to be circling," Meyer said. "We’ll see who, when the music stops, who’s left without a chair."

Ofc. Zach Hudlin is now acting chief of Marion police.

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