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Johnson County sheriff will not answer questions about 2020 election probe

KS Secretary of State reiterates there is no evidence of election fraud
SHERIFF HAYDEN.png
Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 19:17:55-04

OLATHE, Kan. — The 2022 midterm elections are in seven weeks, but the Johnson County sheriff remains focused on 2020 results.

While the Kansas Secretary of State's office reiterated that there is no evidence of election fraud in the 2020 election, Sheriff Calvin Hayden continues devoting resources to his investigation into alleged fraud in the 2020 election.

Since the KSHB 41 I-Team learned about the investigation in mid-July, we've tried at least four times to arrange an on-camera interview with Hayden about the probe.

Hayden's office has refused, saying he will not comment on an active investigation.

During a break Sept. 15 at a meeting about deputy pay, KSHB 41 Investigator Cameron Taylor asked the sheriff in-person about the investigation and why he won't speak with the I-Team.

“Because it’s under investigation," Hayden said.

His response is similar to the one received via email on July 18 and again on Sept. 9, responses that were almost identical.

Questions about Hayden's investigation surfaced when a video from July emerged of Hayden speaking at a Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers event in Las Vegas.

"There’s a lot of stuff going around about what happened at this election," Hayden said in the video. "Quite frankly, I don’t know, but I’m looking."

He added, “We’ve got a whole lot of reasonable suspicion and we’re starting to develop some probable cause."

The I-Team questioned the sheriff about his appearance in Las Vegas as his spokesperson tried to end our conversation.

“But you have talked about it," Taylor said before being interrupted by Shelby Colburn, a spokesperson for the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

“This is an active investigation, so we’re actually not going to talk about it," she said.

Taylor then asked, "Sheriff, you can answer for yourself? You have talked about it at a convention in Las Vegas. You’ve also talked about it with a small group here in Johnson County."

Hayden's replied: “I have not talked about the investigation."

Hayden's office said it's investigating more than 200 claims of fraud from the 2020 election. His office said allowing KSHB 41 to see the allegations would compromise the investigation.

The I-Team also spoke with Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab during the summer after news of Hayden's investigation came to light.

Schwab, a Republican from Johnson County, expressed unwavering confidence with respect to the integrity about elections in Johnson County and the state of Kansas as a whole.

"Absolutely and the evidence says we should be confident," Schwab said.

His office reiterated that confidence Monday in a new statement:

As has been shown time and again, including through a requested recount that affirmed the 2022 primary election results, multiple layers of protection are in place to ensure the security of voting equipment and that every ballot cast is accounted for. 

Despite unfounded claims, these security measures work, and there is no evidence of any election fraud in Kansas.  To date, not a single instance of election fraud from the 2020 General Election has been prosecuted in any court in the 105 counties in the state of Kansas.
Scott Schwab, Kansas secretary of state

The I-Team asked Schwab's office about Hayden's investigation after a video posted on the social media site Rumble surfaced.

In that video, Hayden is speaking with a group at the sheriff's office a couple of weeks ago. He told the group that he has "tons of reasonable suspicion," but the sheriff said he needs probable cause.

"We haven't spent millions of dollars working on this," Hayden said in the recent video. "I've assigned my guys to do surveillance, and I flexed out their time and they did surveillance. And we did some other slippery stuff."

When asked why he isn't being forthcoming about the investigation, Hayden said, “I’m totally transparent about it."

A spokesperson for the Johnson County District Attorney's Office said it has not been involved in the investigation and nothing has been submitted to the office for review.