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'I'm more worried about the old lady,' Former Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody says on raid body camera footage

Former Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody
Posted at 4:19 PM, Oct 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 06:06:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KSHB 41 News I-Team has obtained video from police body cameras of the raid on Marion County Record newspaper.

On Aug. 11, police raided the newsroom and two homes looking for information regarding local restaurant owner Kari Newell's driving record.

The footage shows Gideon Cody, who stepped down as Marion police chief Monday, mostly sitting in a chair while his officers and the Marion County Sheriff's Department searches the offices of the newspaper.

Law enforcement appears frustrated with how long it's taking to download data from the Record's computers.

Zach Hudlin, who is now acting chief of police since Cody's departure is heard saying, "We're inconveniencing a lot of people."

Cody can also be heard saying, "I'm most worried about the old lady."

Cody appears to be talking about Joan Meyer.

The 98-year-old died one day after police raided her home where she lived with her son, the newspaper's owner, Eric Meyer.

Joan Meyer was co-publisher of the Record until her death.

Surveillance footage previously released by the I-Team shows Joan Meyer dressed in a house coat and getting around with a walker.

Joan Meyer was visibly upset. As police rummage through her things, she yelled at them to get out of her home.

The newly released body camera footage shows police checking inside closets, backrooms and rifling through various files at the Record.

The newspaper previously said it was investigating a tip it received on Cody during his time as a Kansas City, Missouri, police captain.

During the raid, Hudlin can be heard asking the chief if he wants to look through Deb Gruver's desk.

Gruver is the reporter who was investigating Cody.

Hudlin: "Do you want to look through this desk?"
Cody: "You have every right to."
Hudlin: " I'm asking, do *you* want to look through this desk?"

Cody walks over to Gruver's desk, opens a drawer and appears to be reading a document.

Cody closed the drawer, walks away and says, "Keep a personal file on me. I don't care."

According to Bernie Rhodes, the newspaper's attorney, the document revealed Gruver's confidential source of information.

The raids centered around a document that details steps Kari Newell, a local restaurant owner, needed to take in order to have her driver's license reinstated following a 2008 DUI.

Police also raided the home of Ruth Herbel, the Marion Vice Mayor.

Cody can be heard saying, "Ruth's information wasn't helpful. She said she only sent it to Brogan."

Brogan Jones is the city administrator of Marion.

Both Herbel and the newspaper received the tip about Newell's driving record.

Herbel passed that information along to the city administrator and was accused by Cody of committing identity theft and a crime involving computers.

It's not clear what Cody is talking about but at one point he says, "Eric was privy to the knowledge, which means the conspiracy charge against him is stronger now."

Eric Meyer previously told the I-Team his reporter verified the tip that was given to the Record about Newell's driving record on the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) website after being told by a KDOR representative it was legal to do so.

KDOR confirmed to the I-Team the state website used by the reporter is public and can be used to access and disseminate information about a person's driving history.

Joel Ensey, the Marion County attorney, withdrew the warrants after the raids citing a lack of evidence a crime occurred.

During the raid on the newspaper, Hudlin takes a call with someone who appears to be with KDOR.

Hudlin is heard saying, "The gal I spoke to on it said she was aware there was a loophole in their system and had meetings all next week about how to deal with that."

KDOR stopped responding to questions from the I-Team once Kansas Bureau of Investigation got involved.

During the raid at the Record, Cody is heard on body camera instructing his staff to seize computers, citing the process to download the computer data was taking too long.

Hudlin asks Cody if he wants him to seize all of the computers.

Cody initially responds, "Mhmm."

Cody later says, "Just the main players. We can tie Eric to it, we can tie Phyllis to it and we can tie Deb to it."

Deb Gruver said she had no part in the story regarding Kari Newell's driving record.

At one point, audio of a phone call between Eric Meyer and someone unknown begins to play in the office.

Hudlin walks out of the room to avoid recording the conversation on his body camera in case Meyer was talking to his attorney.

Hudlin can be heard saying, "This is already going to be a huge deal. And so, I don't want there to be any's already going to be a mess so I'm going to err on the side of he's [Eric Meyer] talking to an attorney."