Kansas Highway Patrol has no report for public release on Gene Suellentrop arrest
The Kansas Highway Patrol didn't file a publicly accessible report on the arrest of Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, who was booked and later released last week for allegedly driving under the influence and attempting to elude law enforcement, the agency said Thursday.
Generally, law enforcement agencies make public the first page of the Kansas Standard Offense Report, which contains basic information about the individual arrested and the details of the crime.
But Luther Ganieany, the patrol’s general counsel, told media outlets, including The Topeka Capital-Journal, that the crimes for which Suellentrop was arrested weren't severe enough to require a report filed.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation guidelines note that only more serious offenses, such as crimes against people or property, fall into the "Group A" bucket requiring a KSOR.
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Suellentrop was arrested in the early morning of March 26 after allegedly driving the wrong way on Interstate 70 for roughly 10 minutes, eluding law enforcement during a short pursuit. At least one driver told 911 operators that a white SUV, allegedly belonging to Suellentrop, nearly struck him.
He was initially charged with misdemeanor DUI, as well as charges of fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, speeding, improper driving on a laned roadway and improper crossover on a divided highway.
All those crimes fall into the "Group B" category, according to KBI, meaning that only a separate report, not available for public release, is mandated.
But a Shawnee County District Court judge found there was no probable cause to support Suellentrop's arrest during an initial hearing, saying "pertinent information" wasn't included on the arrest report.
Charges haven't been re-filed against Suellentrop. A KHP spokesperson said the case file was being forwarded Friday to the Shawnee County district attorney for consideration.
The agency originally said that the first page of the report would be available this week.
KHP denied a request from The Capital-Journal to obtain a copy of the full arrest report, as well as any video footage of the arrest, with Ganieany saying those records are part of the criminal investigation and thus don't have to be released.