Video Released of Police Search at 98-Year-Old Newspaper Publisher’s Home

Newspaper was asking questions about the Police Chief's record

The Marion County Police Chief was being investigated by the Marion County Record when on August 11, a raid of the newspaper office and two homes resulted in the seizure of the phones and computers.

The story has become the poster child of those defending freedom of the press from the bullying tactics of the small town officials.

Eric Meyer, the newspaper’s editor and son of 98-year-old deceased publisher Joan Meyer, released video documentation of the police raid at his mother’s home, which he says resulted in her death the following day due to the stress of the situation. The coroner’s report states “sudden cardiac arrest.”

On Monday at a Marion City Council meeting there were few questions answered about the raid on the newspaper office, the publisher’s home, as well as the home of a city councilwoman, Ruth Herbel, 80.

The raid was based on a complaint from a coffee shop owner, but Eric Meyer believes the Marion police chief was willing to push the boundaries because the newspaper was investigating his previous employment history at the Kansas City Police Department. Chief Gideon Cody was possibly facing discipline and demotion for making insulting and sexist comments to a female KCPD officer.

Chief Cody acted on a search warrant he obtained that allowed his officers to take items and information related to the “identity theft” of Kari Newell, the restaurant/coffee shop owner. Newell was seeking to purchase a liquor license when the newspaper received a tip about a DUI Newell received in the past.

After intense scrutiny, Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey returned the search warrant, citing insufficient evidence for the seizure. State officials confirmed that the information obtained by the reporter was obtained legally. The newspaper’s equipment was returned.

  • County attorney Joel Ensey happens to be the brother of Jeremy Ensey, who with his wife Tammy, is the owner of the liquor license that Newell was seeking to purchase.
  • At Monday’s city council meeting, the council approved the sale of the liquor license to Newell on a 4-1 vote.
  • The Kansas Bureau of Investigations continues to investigate the matter, and will be submitting its findings to county attorney Ensey, who will decide whether any charges will be filed.

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