Top cop Gideon Cody was investigated over claims of sexual misconduct before entire police force raided Kansas newspaper – leaving owner Joan Meyer, 98, feeling terrorized before she died ‘mid-sentence’
- The Marion County Record began investigating the police chief Gideon Cody, 54, following tips that he had been accused of sexual misconduct
- Cody and his entire department raided the office of the newspaper: the 98-year-old co-owner was terrified and aghast, and died the following day
- The police department justified the raid by saying it was in response to another story about a possible illegal liquor sales, with ‘identity theft’ of evidence
The police chief of a small town in Kansas was being investigated by the local newspaper over allegations of sexual misconduct before he ordered his entire department to raid the newspaper offices, it has emerged.
The publisher’s 98-year-old mother, Joan Meyer, who co-owned the paper, died the day after the raid – having told The Wichita Eagle: ‘These are Hitler tactics, and something has to be done.’
Her son Eric Meyer, 69, said his mother was devastated at the seizure of computers and servers from The Marion County Record offices.
The police department claimed the raid was carried out because they had concerns of ‘identity theft’, after the newspaper obtained evidence of a possible liquor license violation.
But the news operation was sure the raid was due to their investigation of Gideon Cody, 54.
He became chief of the Marion County Police Department in late April, after leaving the Kansas City police amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Eric Meyer, publisher of The Marion County Record, had his newspaper’s offices raided on Friday. His mother, co-owner of the paper, died on Saturday – Meyer said it was grief and shock
Joan Meyer, 98, was distraught at the police raid on her newspaper, calling it a Hitler tactic. She died the next day
The Marion County Record serves a community of 11,000 people in rural Kansas
Gideon Cody took over as chief of Marion County Police Department in April. The newspaper was investigating tips that he retired from Kansas City police to avoid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct
Cody took the job after retiring as a captain in Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked for 24 years.
The Marion County Record received an ‘outpouring of calls,’ Eric Meyer said, claiming Cody had retired from his last police post to avoid demotion over sexual misconduct allegations.
Meyer said his newspaper was contacted by Cody’s former colleagues about the claims of sexual misconduct, but that the six-plus anonymous sources ultimately never went on the record and reporters could not obtain Cody’s personnel file.
Kansas City police have refused to reveal whether Cody was accused of sexual misconduct while working at their force.
Meyer said the identity of the sources was on the computer servers, which Cody’s team seized.
‘I may be paranoid that this has anything to do with it, but when people come and seize your computer, you tend to be a little paranoid,’ Meyer told The Handbasket.
He told The Kansas City Star they had not yet published the story, because they had not completed their investigation.
‘We didn’t publish it because we couldn’t nail it down to the point that we thought it was ready for publication,’ said Meyer.
‘[Cody] didn’t know who our sources were. He does now.’
And Meyer told AP: ‘This is the type of stuff that, you know, Vladimir Putin does, that Third World dictators do.
‘This is Gestapo tactics from World War II.’
Cody became chief of the Marion County Police Department in late April, after retiring from Kansas City police
Brian Karman, Cody’s business partner, who worked with him for 20 years, said he was unaware of any allegations against Cody.
‘No, not to my knowledge,’ Karman told The New York Post.
He said it would be out of character.
‘I’ve known him for 20 years. I’ve never heard of anything remotely involving those type of allegations.’
Marion County police department stated on Saturday that they were committed to upholding the law, without addressing the substance of the raid.
‘The Marion Kansas Police Department believes it is the fundamental duty of the police is to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of all members of the public,’ the department wrote on Facebook.
‘This commitment must remain steadfast and unbiased, unaffected by political or media influences, in order to uphold the principles of justice, equal protection, and the rule of law for everyone in the community.
‘The victim asks that we do all the law allows to ensure justice is served. The Marion Kansas Police Department will nothing less.’
The moment that police using ‘Hitler tactics’ raided the Marion County Record newsroom has been caught on camera – just a day before the paper’s co-owner subsequently died
Footage from the newsroom raid shows officers entering with cameras on Friday
The raid occurred after a leaked documents about local restaurateur Kari Newell that could have got her liquor license revoked were handed to the newspaper.
Meyer didn’t publish the story about Newell because he questioned the source – and instead he told the cops about the information.
Newell then accused the weekly newspaper of illegally getting her personal data, prompting the search.
She also allegedly was unhappy with the newspaper had reported reporting on how Newell kicked out reporters from an event at her restaurant, Kari’s Restaurant.
Meyer told the Kansas City Star: ‘We sent them a note saying that a source had given us a file that we thought had suspicious origins.
‘We checked it out to verify that it was accurate, but were not planning to do anything with it. Their response was the typical fashion of a bully.
‘Instead of asking a question or getting material, they came with an atomic flyswatter to seize our equipment and apparently tried to put us out of business.’
The search warrant for the raid
Kari Newell accused the weekly newspaper of illegally getting her personal data, prompting the search. She also allegedly was unhappy with the newspaper had reported reporting on how Newell kicked out reporters from an event at her restaurant, Kari’s Restaurant (event pictured)
Joan died the day after the raid and Eric said it was grief over the situation that caused her passing.
The day after the raid, and Eric said it was grief over the situation that caused her passing.
Before Joan died, she told The Wichita Eagle about the raids: ‘These are Hitler tactics, and something has to be done.’
The next day at around 1:30pm, Eric Meyer woke his mother to offer her breakfast – but she said she couldn’t stomach it.
Eric said: ‘Right in the middle of the sentence died.
‘I am perturbed — I carefully chose that word — as all get out about them raiding our office, but what bothers me most is a 98-year-old woman spent her last day on earth feeling under attack by bullies who invaded her house.’
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