Following arrest outside LEGOLAND, more legal problems surface for Unified Government commissioner

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Following an arrest at a family attraction, more legal problems are surfacing for a Wyandotte County elected official.

Last week, 41 Action News broke the story about Tarence Maddox's arrest outside LEGOLAND for allegedly losing his temper and chest-bumping an employee. Kansas City police charged the Unified Government commissioner with assault and resisting arrest.

Since then, 41 Action News uncovered a series of brushes with police involving Maddox. The Kansas City, Kan. police reports obtained through an open-records request reveal other arrests, threatening remarks, and repeated references to his elected position during disputes.

In 2007, a KCK officer pulled Maddox over and said he refused to provide a driver's license. The officer arrested Maddox and cited him for reckless driving and obstructing legal process.

In 2009, a KCK officer pulled Maddox over for driving with switched tags. Again, Maddox did not have a driver's license and a computer check revealed two bench warrants. The officer arrested Maddox and cited him for driving while suspended.

Two of the KCK police incidents happened after Maddox was elected commissioner of the Unified Government's District 4 in 2011.

In 2012, a KCK officer pulled over Maddox for a stop sign violation and speeding. At first, Maddox could not find his proof of insurance and had called his wife to bring it.

However, the report said Maddox, who had identified himself as a commissioner, changed his mind and just told officer to issue the tickets.

"(Maddox) then stated in a rude and cocky manner, 'I'll just take the tickets up to legal tomorrow and have them taken care of,'" the officer wrote.

The most extensive police encounter occurred on January 17, 2012 near 7th and Reynolds. Maddox had called the police because he believed another car was following him.

The other driver told officers he had dropped his friend off at an apartment complex and had seen Maddox's white Mercedes leave the area. The man said he thought his friend was also in the car, so he had followed it to see.

Upon arrival, officers described Maddox as "irate" and said he refused their orders to stay in his vehicle.

"The commissioner repeatedly cursed at and made threats toward the other driver," one officer wrote.

According to police, the threatening statements included Maddox saying, "He's lucky I didn't drive down 12th Street. I could've had somebody come out and pop him."

Police said Maddox also asked the other driver, "Have you ever heard of the black mafia?"

The exchange could be heard on police dash camera video obtained by 41 Action News. During the incident, Maddox appeared visibly upset and officers blocked him several times from trying to approach the other driver.

"(Maddox) advised me that he had the right to know who the other driver was and what was in his vehicle because he was a commissioner," an officer wrote. "(Maddox) advised he would search the vehicle if we didn't."

After police cleared the scene, an officer said Maddox began to follow the other driver. The officer pulled him over again to ask what the commissioner was doing.

"Tarence asked why I stopped him and asked if I was going to issue him a ticket," the officer reported. "I again asked him why he was following the other driver and he made a remark that he was 'having someone else follow him.'"

Police cited Maddox for disorderly conduct and the other man for reckless driving.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Maddox told 41 Action News he had been advised not to comment until the LEGOLAND-related situation had been resolved. He would only say he looked forward to continuing to serve the residents of his district.

Later that night, he briefly spoke with 41 Action News reporter Syed Shabbir before a commissioners' meeting.

Tamika Pledger was one of five candidates to run for the District 4 position during the 2011 commissioner election. She had only heard about minor traffic violations in Maddox's past.

"But nothing to this magnitude where he's threatening, he's intimidating, and he's literally scaring the crap out of people," Pledger said. "That's not showing great leadership qualities, and I really hope that Tarence Maddox can bounce back from this."

Butch Ellison, a former commissioner of 12 years, wants to see Maddox take accountability.

"You need to be held to a higher standard," Ellison said. "I hope it's not totally damaging to his career because he's done some good work."

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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