Kansas GOP leader Suellentrop ousted after threatening officer in DUI arrest

According to newly released information, Sen. Gene Suellentrop insulted and challenged a state trooper

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After the March 16 DUI arrest of state Senate majority leader Gene Suellentrop, the Kansas GOP has relieved him of his post.

This happened after affidavits of search warrant and probable cause were requested for disclosure by WIBW of Topeka, Kansas.

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Not only was Suellentrop’s blood-alcohol level twice that of the legal limit at 0.17, but he also referred to the arresting officer, Kansas highway patrol trooper Austin Shepley, as a “donut boy” and remarked that the arrest was “all for going the wrong way” while in the intoxilyzer room, according to the report.

Gene Suellentrop (CREDIT: SHAWNEE COUNTY JAIL/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Judge Penny Moylan signed a search warrant to obtain a sample of Suellentrop’s blood, as he refused a breathalyzer test. Shepley reported that Suellentrop became “slightly aggressive in his tone,” “looked me up and down stating he played state sports competitively in high school,” and told the officer he could “take me.”

Shepley noted that dispatch alerted officers of a white SUV traveling the wrong way, and that, “As the oncoming vehicle quickly approached, [he] narrowly missed the vehicle as it passed by, swerving onto the outside shoulder.” Next, Officer Shepley turned around into oncoming traffic to pursue Suellentrop, who reached speeds as high as 90 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone.

Police car (Credit: Getty)

Shepley reportedly pulled his pistol and ordered an unresponsive Suellentrop to shut off his car, which reeked of alcohol. Ultimately joined by two other Topeka police officers, Shepley said that the driver of the SUV “looked back at me with a confused, frightened, blank stare. He was not registering my commands or responding to them.” 

Friday, per Greenwichtime, Suellentrop was relieved of his post by the Kansas GOP, though he was expected to remain majority leader through 2024. The closed-door vote was 22-4 and Senate president Ty Masterson said a new majority leader would be elected in late May. Assistant majority leader Larry Alley will continue as acting majority leader, as he has since Suellentrop’s arrest.

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Suellentrop will remain a senator as only his constituents can either vote him out or attempt a recall. According to Kansas law, he can also be removed from office for a felony conviction, misconduct in office, or “failure to perform duties prescribed by law.”

According to People, Suellentrop is scheduled for a court appearance on June 3, and it is unclear if he has entered a plea.

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