Prosecutor dismisses DUI charge against KC mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Lawrence prosecutor has dismissed the DUI charge against Kansas City mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas.

"We always thought that there wasn't evidence to support a charge. There was never a crime committed," Quinton Lucas said. "That's why I elected to fight the charge the moment it happened."

The Kansas City Council member was cited for DUI back in October.

A Lawrence police officer got a call about an unconscious man near 8th and Massachusetts. That's when officers said they found Lucas asleep in his car. They arrested him for driving under the influence.

"I'm glad we have a positive resolution now," Lucas said.

When that happened, Lucas took to Facebook. He openly said yes, he drank that night -- but he said he didn't drive. He planned to wait in his car until he was safe to drive and never attempted to move his car.

When FOX4 asked Lucas if the car was running, he said:

"I think those are all things that ended up being debated. I think it's our view that most of those claims couldn't have been proven. I think you're seeing with the dismissal decision today that they agreed with the defense side that frankly, this was not the sort of thing that would sustain a DUI charge, and that's why the charges were dropped today by the prosecutors."

A few months ago, Lucas said the Lawrence city prosecutor offered him a plea. He refused it.

In February, Lucas's attorney submitted a motion to dismiss evidence, saying he never should have been arrested in the first place.

Elizabeth, Hafoka, the supervising city prosecutor for Lawrence, sent FOX4 the following statement:

"After a review of the facts and relevant case law, the city does not have evidence to present that Mr. Lucas moved or attempted to move the vehicle, which is required for conviction of DUI based on the holding in State v. Darrow, 304 Kan. 710 (2016). The Kansas Supreme Court in Darrow held that 'taking actual physical control of the vehicle is insufficient to attempt to operate that vehicle without an attempt to make it move within meaning of driving under the influence (DUI) statute prohibiting a person from operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.' In Mr. Lucas’s case, there is no evidence that he moved or attempted to move the car. Therefore, the city will not proceed with prosecution at this time."

"I wasn’t guilty of an offense," Lucas said. "We were ready to take it to trial if we needed to, and I think that’s why we saw prosecutors review it and dismiss the case today."

Lucas said when it comes to the Kansas City mayoral race, he isn't concerned about the dropped charge.

"I think the voters already spoke in connection with this issue in the primary," Lucas said. "They had these facts and this information out for the last six months."

Matt Harris, a political science professor at Park University, agrees.

"I think the public are willing to forgive, and a lot of times they just don’t care or there can be other factors in races. Whether it’s party ID, overall support for a candidate, for their ideas, there’s a lot of other factors at play," Harris said. "Something like this, I don’t think it’s a major factor for the campaign."

FOX4 asked Lucas' opponent, Jolie Justus, who is also on the Kansas City Council, for her thoughts on the matter.

Her campaign manager said they don't have any comment right now.

"I think that just plays into the idea that this is not going to be a big factor in the race," Harris said. "Sometimes scandals, charges, things like that can be a bigger factor when an opponent makes it a factor. And so Jolie Justus choosing not to address it, this is probably going to be put to bed, and then they’ll move forward with the campaign."

The vote for Kansas City mayor is on June 18.

Lucas said his key platform issues are economic development with a focus on women, minorities and racial justice. Jolie Justus said her biggest priorities include reducing crime and increasing educational opportunities.

Lucas said he was fortunate enough to afford a strong attorney. He said he knows not everyone can do that and donated a thousand dollars to Legal Aid of Missouri. That's a group that helps free legal assistance for civil cases.

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