'Rumor Mill's Going Nuts' After State GOP Leader Arrested

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop accused of DUI, trying to flee cops
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2021 6:07 PM CDT
Kansas GOP Leader Accused of DUI, Trying to Flee Cops
This photo provided by the Shawnee County Jail in Topeka, Kan., shows Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop after being booked for an arrest, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Topeka, Kan.   (Shawnee County Jail via AP)

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop was not present when the state Senate convened Tuesday afternoon—which was not surprising after the events of that morning. Police say the 69-year-old Republican was arrested in Topeka at 3:55am on Tuesday and booked into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, fleeing law enforcement, speeding, improper driving on a laned roadway, and improper crossover on a divided highway, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. He was released from the Shawnee County Detention Center around 11am after Judge Penny Moylan didn't find probable cause against him, citing "failure to include pertinent information" on the arrest report.

Kansas Highway Patrol public information officer Lt. Candice Breshears says Suellentrop was arrested after his vehicle was allegedly seen going the wrong way on Interstate 70. She says the driver failed to pull over for police and the arrest was made after a short pursuit. Breshears says the judge's failure to find probable cause doesn't mean the case is closed. She says case information will be forwarded to the district attorney, who will decide whether to file charges. Senate President Ty Masterson said Tuesday that he hadn't spoken to Suellentrop but legislative work would continue "regardless of circumstances," the Wichita Eagle reports. "All we know for sure is that there was an arrest on suspicion of DUI and that he was released without charges," he said. "We just have so little. I know the rumor mill’s going nuts." (More Kansas stories.)

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