Senate leadership issues statements on new details in Suellentrop case

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Kansas senate leadership issued statements Thursday on new details being released in Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop’s case.

“I am deeply troubled by the latest details that have emerged surrounding Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop’s arrest. I thank God that no one was hurt by his extremely reckless and dangerous actions. While Senator Suellentrop deserves due process and appropriate consequences for his irresponsible behavior, he also deserves to be held to the same level of accountability as the Kansans he has been elected to represent. I am disappointed that he has not come to this conclusion himself.”

Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes

A spokesperson for Senate Leadership confirmed in an email to Kansas’ Capitol Bureau on Thursday that Senate President Ty Masterson and Suellentrop separated from a prior business partnership last week.

According to the spokesperson, no time has been scheduled to vote on whether Suellentrop will maintain his position at the statehouse.

On Thursday, Masterson and Kansas Senate Vice president Rick Wilborn issued the following joint statement.

“After having had a chance to review the affidavit, we reiterate our previous statement that the
underlying incident is very serious, and we are thankful that no one was injured. While we continue to respect due process, there are many aspects of the alleged behavior that are deeply disappointing, and severe consequences will be unavoidable. With just a few days in the session remaining, we will finish up our work with Senator Larry Alley fulfilling the duties of the majority leader. Any decisions regarding the future will be made in due course.”

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson and Vice President Rick Wilborn

This comes after a report shows Suellentrop’s blood had an alcohol content of .17, more than twice the legal limit when he was found driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of I-70.

It also refers to him being confused, going 90mph and calling the officers names.

Callers initially reported seeing a white SUV driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-470 starting near Wanamaker Road and minutes later on I-70 around 12:45 a.m. March 16.

The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the driver of the SUV as Republican Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop.

Suellentrop is a 68-year-old business owner who served in the Kansas House for seven years before being elected to the Senate in 2016.

He won re-election last year and fellow GOP senators chose him as the chamber’s No. 2 leader in December.

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