KBI takes the lead in Marion County Record case

Marion County Record seizure
Marion County Record seizure
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 11:12 AM CDT
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MARION, Kan. (KCTV) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has confirmed it’s taking the lead in the investigation of what happened in Marion County.

On Friday, Marion Police raided the Marion County Record and seized phones and computers. Yesterday, KBI spokesperson Melissa Underwood said that Marion Police and the Marion County Attorney had asked to KBI to join an investigation into allegations of Identity theft. An agent had been assigned on Tuesday to assist in the investigation.

Now, KBI appears to be distancing itself from the raid.  They confirm they were part of the initial investigation, Underwood says that the agent did not apply for the search warrant and was not part of the raid.  The KBI is now investigating how the raid took place, analyzing the steps and processes.

Police raided the newspaper, the Vice Mayor’s home, and the home of the owner and publisher of the paper. Publisher Eric Meyer claims the raid was a contributing factor in his 98-year-old mother’s death. Joan Meyer was the co-owner and shared the home with her son. She was home when police raided. Eric Meyer said his mother struggled to sleep and eat following the raid. She died the next day.

“How dare they?” asked Eric Meyer. “How dare they take a 98-year-old woman and have the last day of her life be holy hell.”

ALSO READ: Raided Marion County newspaper claims raid contributed to death of editor and promises lawsuit

The raids were prompted by a story that was never published. Someone tipped off the paper that a person in town was driving without a driver’s license and was applying for a liquor license when she has a DUI. The paper questioned the motivations of the tipster and never ran the story. They did, however, talk with police to check it out.

Numerous First Amendment organizations condemn the raid. Eric Meyer questions everything about the raid. Computers and cell phones were seized, but the information concerning the DUI was left behind.

Meyer questions the true motivation. He was involved in ongoing reports about the new police chief.

Chief Gideon Cody arrived in town just a few months ago. He had worked for KCPD for 24 years before making the move. Meyer told us he was asking questions about how a KCPD Captain making $115,000 ended up in the small Kansas town making about $60,000.

Marion residents are divided about what happened. There are signs displayed urging people to support police, while the pile of flowers outside the newspaper office supporting the Record grows.

ALSO READ: Timeline breakdown: Marion police raid newspaper office, owner’s home

For more stories on Marion County, click here.