Former Wyandotte County assistant DA sentenced for stealing over $75k from taxpayers

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A former assistant district attorney for Wyandotte County and a former Linn County attorney was sentenced to federal prison Thursday for stealing thousands of dollars from taxpayers.

John Sutherland, 69, of Mound City, Kansas was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.  The crimes took place from sometime prior to January 2009 until Sutherland left office in 2017.

In his plea, Sutherland admitted that on Feb. 6, 2019, FBI agents found 13 items stolen from Linn County when they searched Sutherland’s office at the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office. One of the items was a stolen Apple laptop computer.

When FBI agents interviewed him, Sutherland denied any wrongdoing and made other false statements. He claimed that an Apple TV 64 GB video-streaming device the county purchased for about $220 had been destroyed. FBI agents found the device intact at Sutherland’s home. They also found that Sutherland had given some of the stolen items to his adult children.

Under a plea agreement, Sutherland will have to surrender his law license.

“The defendant abused the public trust,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were approximately 9,750 people in Linn County in 2018. The median household income was $46,576. That means the defendant stole property worth far more than most Linn County residents earn in a year.”

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