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Resignation letter from police chief who raided Marion, Kan., newspaper: 'I do not want to defend my actions'

Gideon Cody and Jessica McMaster.png
Posted at 8:00 PM, Nov 01, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The police chief who raided the Marion County Record newspaper and two homes in the small Kansas town wrote in his resignation letter he "did not want to defend" his actions before the city council.

During an Oct. 2 city council meeting, Mayor David Mayfield said former police chief Gideon Cody notified the mayor of his resignation.

Mayfield did not comment any further on the matter, saying only Cody's resignation was effective immediately.

On Wednesday, the KSHB 41 News I-Team obtained a copy of Cody's resignation.

Mayor,

I have not intended for myself to be such a distraction for the City.I would like to resign effective 15th of October if that is okay with you.

I do not want to defend my actions to the Council and I do not want for everyone to have to formally discuss any discipline.

I believe if the circumstances were known then it would mitigate your response but I am getting exhausted from the media pressure much like all of you. I believe Jennifer Hill will be sending something in regards to this. I don’t believe this resignation will hinder the city’s defense regarding the search warrant. A response will be forthcoming on 10/04 that will shed more light on this.

I will call you as well to discuss this.
Gideon Cody, former Marion, Kansas, police chief

The email was sent from Cody's personal email address and delivered to Mayfield's private email address.

The KSHB 41 News I-Team previously uncovered the chief was using private emails and text messages regarding his investigation into the Marion County Record.

Cody claimed a reporter committed identity theft by accessing a local restaurant owner's driving information.

The restaurant owner told the I-Team Cody directed her to delete text messages from him following the raids.

Under Kansas law, if a public official uses personal devices to conduct official business, those records would be subject to the Kansas Open Records Act.

The I-Team sent a KORA request for Cody's text messages and private emails regarding the raids to Jennifer Hill, the attorney hired to represent the city.

Hill denied the I-Team's request stating, "The City has no custody over personal cell phones and KORA provides no enforcement mechanism to obtain text messages from personal cell phones. As such, obtaining text messages from the personal property of the listed individuals would place an unreasonable burden on the City and, to the extent any such records even exist, the City is under no obligation to produce such records."

Bernie Rhodes, attorney for Marion County Record, provided the I-Team a copy of Cody's resignation letter, which revealed it was sent from his personal email address.

Rhodes said he received the resignation letter on Friday.