Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody has made the decision to step down from his position, less than two months after he authorized a highly publicized raid on a local newspaper that ultimately resulted in a tragic death and a subsequent federal lawsuit. The announcement of Cody’s resignation was made by Marion Mayor David Mayfield during a city council meeting on Monday. Mayfield confirmed that Cody’s departure would be effective immediately, as reported by Marion County Record.
In the wake of Cody’s resignation, Zach Hudlin, an officer who was present during the raid, has been appointed as Marion’s acting police chief upon Mayfield’s recommendation. Hudlin was one of the officers involved in the raid on the Marion County Record that led to the seizure of items from the newspaper. Notably, he is currently the only fully certified law enforcement officer remaining in the Marion police force.
The raid on the local newspaper, which took place on August 11, sparked a series of unprecedented events. Cody initiated the search on the grounds that reporter Phyllis Zorn committed identity theft by accessing public records on a public website. However, it was later revealed that Zorn had lawfully obtained the information through accessing a Kansas Department of Revenue database, which is a permissible method for journalists to access information.
The raid itself involved Cody, four police officers, and two sheriff’s deputies seizing cell phones and electronic devices from the newsroom. Journalists were subjected to intense heat as they were made to wait outside for three hours after being read their Miranda warnings. In addition, law enforcement officers also searched the home of Marion County Record publisher Eric Meyer and that of a county councilwoman. Tragically, Meyer’s 98-year-old mother and co-owner of the newspaper, Joan, passed away the day following the raid, with Meyer speculating that the stress of the incident contributed to her death.
The fallout from the raid has been significant. Veteran Record reporter Deb Gruver has filed a federal lawsuit against Cody, seeking compensation for emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical injury. Reporters at the Record have expressed anxiety and concern, with Zorn experiencing a deterioration in her health due to stress. Gruver has also decided to resign from the newspaper, stating that she no longer felt comfortable in the Marion community.
It remains to be seen how these recent developments will impact the Marion Police Department and the relationship between law enforcement and the local media. As this story continues to unfold, it is crucial to uphold the principles of justice, equal protection, and the rule of law for everyone in the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What led to Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody’s resignation?
Chief Gideon Cody resigned after he authorized a controversial raid on a local newspaper, which resulted in a federal lawsuit and the death of a woman. The details surrounding the raid sparked significant outcry and led to his suspension prior to his resignation.
2. Who will be taking over the role of Marion Police Chief?
Following Cody’s resignation, Officer Zach Hudlin has been appointed as Marion’s acting police chief by the mayor’s recommendation. Hudlin was involved in the raid on the Marion County Record and is currently the sole fully certified law enforcement officer remaining in the Marion police force.
3. What were the allegations against reporter Phyllis Zorn?
Phyllis Zorn was accused of committing identity theft by accessing public records on a public website. However, it was later revealed that she had lawfully obtained the information through a Kansas Department of Revenue database, which is a legal method for journalists to access information.
4. What were the consequences of the raid on the local newspaper?
During the raid, law enforcement officers seized electronic devices and cell phones from the newsroom. Journalists were forced to wait outside in extreme heat for several hours. Additionally, the home of the newspaper’s publisher and that of a county councilwoman were searched. Tragically, the newspaper publisher’s 98-year-old mother passed away a day after the raid, with her son attributing it to the stress caused by the incident.
– Kansas Reflector,