MARION, Kan. — The Marion Police Department Chief of Police Gideon Cody resigned effective immediately at the city council meeting held Monday.
Zach Hudlin, an officer with the MPD, will take his place.
Cody was suspended on Thursday. His suspension came amid a controversial raid at the Marion County Record, the city’s newspaper, as well as two other locations, in August.
On Aug. 11, law enforcement raided the Marion County Record and seized computers, cell phones, and other devices on a search warrant that was withdrawn a few days later.
The warrant was signed by a magistrate judge about two hours before the raid took place. Police alleged in the warrant there was suspicion of identity theft by one of the Record’s reporters.
According to the Record’s publisher, Eric Meyer, there were questions about a story one week before the police came into his business. His newspaper notified the sheriff and the police chief that they’d obtained documents from the state that a local restaurant owner, Kari Newell, had driven on a suspended license after getting a DUI.
The Marion County Record told law enforcement they had no plans to publish the information in a story, but one week later, police came into the building and seized equipment, according to Meyer. They also went into his home, Meyer said.
The co-owner of the newspaper, Joan Meyer, who is also Eric’s mother, died a day after the raid into her home.
On Aug. 16, Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey said his review of police seizures from the Marion County Record found “insufficient evidence exists to establish a legally sufficient nexus between this alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized.”
After the items were returned, a judge ordered authorities to destroy all electronic copies they made of the newspaper’s files.
Debbie Gruver, a reporter for the Marion County Record, filed a lawsuit on Aug. 30 against Cody in connection to the raid.
After the raid, the Marion County Police Department and the Marion County Attorney asked the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to take over the investigation into alleged illegal access of records.
KSN will provide more information as it becomes available.