Kansas City community reacts to WyCo commissioner caught on camera making threats, flaunting title

Tarence Maddox responds to report on Facebook

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - There is strong reaction to a Wyandotte County politician caught on camera making threats and throwing around his title, including a defiant response from the elected official himself.

41 Action News broke the story on Tuesday, uncovering the surveillance video that showed Commissioner Tarence Maddox speaking with a clerk at a Kansas City, Kan. gas station.

“If I call codes, they’ll shut this store down as a result,” said Maddox, who was apparently upset he hadn’t heard from the owner about getting a mistaken $20 charge refunded. “I’m telling you I’m done playing games with you. I left my number. My money got taken. If he can’t call me, as a commissioner, as a government official, that’s what I am. I don’t know what you are. I don’t know what he is.”

The story generated a slew of reaction on the 41 Action News Facebook page , generating more than 100 comments.

A lot of people have apparently had enough, writing things like, “Why is he still commissioner?” or “Kick him out!”

An online petition urging Maddox to resign even popped up with a goal of 500 signatures.

However, a supporter also posted photos of Maddox working in the community on the 41 Action News page.

And the commissioner, who went to great lengths not to answer questions about the incident at City Hall on Feb. 20, posted his own response , which was still online as of 5:30 p.m., Feb. 26, quoted in part below and in full in the media player above.

The only people who are thugs here is Ryan Kath using a Mic and Camera to harass people. And the phone people from KCK City Hall and Under world government paying him to write the story,” the message began. “You wanna find me ill be in the trenches in WYCO working with the people in the Community.

Meantime, KCK Mayor Mark Holland fielded a question on KCUR radio’s “Up to Date with Steve Kraske” on Wednesday morning.

Kraske asked if the Unified Government Commission would try to reprimand Maddox for the incident. Holland said he wasn’t sure what actions he and fellow commissioners could take, adding that he would like to focus on big-picture issues like economic development.

“There are checks and balances,” Holland said. “You know it’s our civics lesson in terms of who people are accountable to. They are certainly accountable to the public. They are certainly accountable to the court. And they are accountable to the Ethics Commission.”

The Ethics Commission will meet on March 6 and Legislative Auditor Thomas Wiss said it’s safe to assume the Maddox situation will be a topic of discussion.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman also told 41 Action News his office is aware of the story and is reviewing the incident.

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

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