Days after he was suspended, the Kansas police chief who led a widely condemned raid on a small-town weekly newspaper in August has resigned.
Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody’s resignation was announced by Mayor Dave Mayfield at a City Council meeting Monday night, The Associated Press reported.
Cody was suspended on Thursday in a surprising reversal from Mayfield, who had previously said he would wait for a state police investigation of the raid to conclude.
The suspension followed the release of body camera video of the raid on the Marion County Record on Aug. 11, which showed an officer searching the desk of a reporter investigating the chief’s past, according to The AP.
The officer named acting police chief, Zach Hudlin, was also present at the raid, and a copy of the search warrant showed that he seized items from the newspaper, including a reporter’s cell phone, CNN reported.
Cody had said the raids were conducted on the belief that a reporter had impersonated a local businesswoman to obtain her driving records.
But a local prosecutor said there wasn’t enough evidence to justify the search of the newspaper office, nor the homes of its co-owner and a City Council member on the same day. Just days after the raids, Marion County prosecutor Joel Ensey withdrew the search warrants and ordered the seized phones, computers and records returned, saying “insufficient evidence exists to establish a legally sufficient nexus between this alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized,” according to CNN.
The co-owner, 98-year old Joan Meyer, died the day after the raid. Her son, Eric Meyer, insisted that the raids contributed to his mother’s death. Video of the search of her home showed her agitated and confrontational with the cops.
Mayfield told the AP he couldn’t answer questions about the chief’s resignation “as it is a personnel matter.”
Cody was also targeted in a federal lawsuit filed by one of the paper’s reporters, Debbie Gruver, CNN reported. She claimed the top cop violated her constitutional rights by obtaining an “unreasonable and unlawful” search warrant and seizing her personal property,.