• Last modified 231 days ago (Oct. 5, 2023)


Special prosecutor

To the editor:

I fully support Eric Meyer’s call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle and distribute the Kansas Bureau of Investigation report on the raid on the Marion Country Record newspaper offices, the home of Eric and Joan Meyer, and the home of Vice Mayor and City Councilwoman Ruth Herbal.

The erosion of trust in Marion’s public officials will not be repaired by hotdog gorging in the park by the good citizens under the slogan “Stronger Together,” which sounds a lot like “shut up and close ranks” to me. 

The following individuals, by their acts of commission or omission, dereliction, negligence and / or malfeasance, have forfeited the public’s trust.

Each deserves, to paraphrase a standard Armed Forces statement, to be relieved of duty due to a loss of confidence in their ability to exercise the authority granted them by the people:

  • County Attorney Joel Ensey.
  • Magistrate Judge Laura Viar.
  • Mayor David Mayfield.
  • City Administrator Brogan Jones.
  • City Councilman Zach Collett.
  • Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody.
  • Marion Police Department members.
  • Marion County Sheriff Jeff Soyez.
  • Sheriff’s Department members.
  • Kari Newell.

The higher profile skulduggery has been well-covered by the Record and elsewhere. Some members of the supporting cast, however, deserve their share of recognition. 

Thanks to his lack of attention to detail or failure of due diligence, Collett either couldn’t or wouldn’t conduct a thorough enough background check on Cody prior to his hiring. Or he found exactly the right guy to fill the position of mayor’s toady. After all, every Tiberius needs his Sejanus.

Speaking of praetorian prefects, Jones, likely out of spite and petty vindictiveness, failed to even advise Ruth Herbel, the vice mayor, of Cody’s suspension. Wrong address my foot. Ever heard of a telephone? Mrs. Herbel, thanks to the blue suit goon squad, has more than one. Stonewalling the Record, well, that must be SOP by now. 

Police and sheriff department members: Doesn’t your foundational training include the right to refuse illegitimate orders, like every new recruit in the Army receives annually? Did you even ask the question? Oh, I forgot: That thin blue line thing negates all inconvenient minutia, doesn’t it? 

Kari Newell: I have no words fit to print.

As the Marion County Record raid story continues to unravel, and it’s not over yet, my reservoir of faith in humanity sinks lower and lower.

It will take some time and hopefully some new faces, and some new attitudes toward public service, to repair the damage those listed, and I suspect others, have done to the Marion community and the rest of us as well. 

Gaylan Johnson
Mundelein, Illinois

Last modified Oct. 5, 2023