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Embattled police chief abruptly resigns

Staff writer

Three days after his suspension was announced, embattled Police Chief Gideon Cody abruptly resigned Monday.

His resignation, effective immediately, was announced by Mayor David Mayfield near the end of a biweekly meeting of Marion City Council.

At Mayfield’s suggestion, patrol officer Zach Hudlin was appointed to replace Cody as interim chief.

Hudlin is the sole remaining member of the Marion police force fully certified as a law enforcement officer.

During Cody’s raid Aug. 11 on the Marion County Record newsroom, Hudlin was the officer who called Cody’s attention to a confidential file, beyond the scope of Cody’s later disavowed search warrant, detailing Cody’s alleged misdeeds before leaving the Kansas City Police Department under threat of demotion.

After the surprise announcement of Cody’s resignation Monday, Hudlin told the Record he would resume providing the newspaper weekly reports about police activities.

Cody had stopped a 50-year tradition of providing such reports after taking office four months ago.

Mayfield’s dispassionate announcement of Cody’s resignation came at the conclusion of the council’s scheduled items of business.

During public comments afterward, Ryan Newell, estranged husband of Kari Newell, whose case Cody purported to be investigating in the raid, pressed Mayfield and council member Zach Collett about events leading up to the raid.

Collett offered a lengthy denial of any wrongdoing on his part. Mayfield, however, refused to say anything.

“I’m not answering any of your questions,” Mayfield said. “I don’t owe you an explanation about anything.”

“You are such a chickensh*t,” Ryan Newell shot back.

Pam Maag, the former friend who provided Herbel and the Record information about Kari Newell illegally driving for more than a decade, then questioned Collett, drawing an angry response.

“There’s this little dirty web of [city administrator Brogan] Jones and Mr. Mayfield and now you have gotten into it,” Maag told Collett.

“You’re saying that I’m corrupt,” Collett shot back, waving off Mayfield’s attempt to cut Maag off. “I’m not OK with being called corrupt and being involved in a web of lies, and I’m tired of it.”

“I’m tired of it, too,” Maag replied.

After additional testy exchanges between Maag and Jones, Mayfield cut off discussion even as other spectators were waiting to speak.

Additional information about the council meeting will be published in Wednesday’s issue of the Record.

Last modified Oct. 3, 2023

 

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