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Ex-Kansas Senate leader pleads no contest to DUI

Gene M. Suellentrop mug shot.jpg
Posted at 11:31 AM, Oct 25, 2021

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita Republican who was one of the Kansas Legislature's most powerful lawmakers has pleaded no contest to driving under the influence and reckless driving and will serve two days in jail.

Former Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop appeared in a Topeka court Monday to formally accept a deal with prosecutors that formally dropped a felony charge of trying to elude law enforcement while speeding the wrong way on highways in Topeka.

A Shawnee County District Judge found Suellentrop guilty and sentenced him to 6 months in jail for the DUI and 90 days for reckless driving. The bulk of the jail sentences were suspended, but Suellentrop will serve 48 hours in jail and be on probation for a year.

Suellentrop had already resigned his post as Senate majority leader as the charges were pending.

Law enforcement radio recordings and 911 calls released by the local sheriff's department in response to an open records request showed multiple people reported Suellentrop's white SUV traveling the wrong way on I-470 near a south Topeka exit early on March 16.