TOPEKA, Kan. – Gene Suellentrop has lost his position as the majority leader Friday evening in the Kansas Senate.
The Senate Republican Caucus voted out the former Senate Majority Leader and Wichita Republican around 6:30 p.m., according to sister station KSNT. Suellentrop faced a call for a vote from senators to oust him from office. At this time, however, Suellentrop is still a senator.
Suellentrop was not in the room when the lawmakers voted 22-4 to remove him from his position. They will vote May 26 on a replacement for Senate Majority leader.
A police report released on Suellentrop’s March 16 arrest said he called the trooper that arrested him “donut boy” and said he could take him. It also said DUI tests on the Senate Majority Leader showed his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he was driving 90 miles per hour the wrong way down the highway.
Senate President Ty Masterson said around 3:50 p.m. that he expected something else rather than a vote to remove the majority leader.
“I actually anticipate a resignation,” Masterson said. “It’s one thing to resign, and it’s one thing to be forcibly removed.”
Suellentrop drove the wrong way from Wanamaker Road to downtown Topeka on I-70 and I-470, and led law enforcement on a “short pursuit,” according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
After authorities stopped his car, arrested him and took him to the hospital for a DUI blood draw, a Shawnee County District Judge released him in his first hearing, citing a lack of “pertinent information” in the arresting officer’s report.
Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay later filed five formal charges against Suellentrop, who turned himself in to the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. His bond was set at $5,000, and the Senate Majority leader paid it and walked out of the jail the same night.