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Embattled Kansas State Sen. Gene Suellentrop to resign

Republican from Wichita convicted of DUI last year
Gene M. Suellentrop mug shot.jpg
Posted at 2:04 PM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 15:04:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An embattled Kansas state senator from the Wichita area plans to resign in the wake of a drunk-driving conviction last year.

A spokesperson for Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, a Republican from Andover, confirmed that Sen. Gene Suellentrop informed Masterson’s office via email that he plans to resign in early January 2023.

It’s unclear what role Suellentrop’s March 2021 arrest and subsequent no-contest plea to DUI had in his decision, but he had been ousted as Senate majority leader after his arrest.

The Kansas Highway Patrol initially declined to release any documents related to the March 16, 2021, arrest after his vehicle was observed traveling the wrong direction on Interstate 70 near downtown Topeka.

A judge released Suellentrop shortly after his arrest on suspicion of DUI, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, speeding and improperly crossing over on a divided highway. He was not immediately charged.

It took 10 days before the Shawnee County District Attorney charged Suellentrop in the case and he was allowed to turn himself in.

Suellentrop had a 0.17 blood-alcohol level at the time of his arrest and called the arresting trooper “donut boy,” according to a Kansas Highway Patrol affidavit.

After witnessing Suellentrop’s vehicle driving the wrong way on the interstate, speeds reached 90 mph on a brief chase before troopers stopped his vehicle using a tactical maneuver.