Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody is battling a fraud suit filed Feb. 27 in Leavenworth County over his real estate dealings.
The suit was filed by lawyer Benjamin Rioux on behalf of Easton residents Cynthia Wooton, Channing Cole, and Brandon Cole.
The petition claims that Wooten bought a Leavenworth house from Cody on March 16, 2022, for $260,000.
While attempting to build a detached garage, a hole 12 by 20 feet wide was discovered.
It was filled with construction waste, appliances, and other large trash items, and covered with dirt, the petition claims.
“The hole made the property unsuitable to build upon and prevented the plaintiffs from the use, benefit, and enjoyment of their property,” Rioux wrote. “Plaintiffs allege this hole was dug by employees of (Cody) in the course of their employment remodeling the home located at the property, that this work was for the benefit of (Cody), and that he knew this defect existed.”
Other defects the plaintiffs claim are that a sewer line was defective and needed to be replaced; the HVAC system was not properly attached to air ducts in the home, so the house was not cooled during the summer of 2022; several components of the electrical system were improperly installed; a bathroom seal above the kitchen was incorrectly applied, which caused leaks into the kitchen; wiring was installed improperly; an improperly installed water drainage system in the basement caused flooding; a hole in the floor of the garage was misrepresented as a feature of the property; and insulation and soffits were improperly installed.
Wooten and the Coles seek more than $75,000 for violation of the Kansas consumer protection act, fraudulent misrepresentation, and negligence.
Cody’s lawyer, Peter Robertson, didn’t file a formal response but filed a motion May 31 to dismiss the case, claiming the petition did not state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
Judge John Bryant ruled Aug. 10 that he wouldn’t dismiss the case, but stayed it so that Cody, Wooton, and the Coles could try alternative dispute resolution, as specified in the original contract.
Bryant gave them 90 days to try to resolve the matter and said that if efforts to find a resolution failed, he would allow Cody’s lawyer 14 days to file an answer to the petition.