Marion Kansas City Council Runs Away From Newspaper Debacle

Marion Kansas City Council Runs Away From Newspaper Debacle

Marion Kansas City Council Runs Away From Newspaper Debacle

Evidently the Marion City Council, specifically the mayor, doesn’t want to address the elephant in the room. Namely the outrageous raid on the Marion County Record, a newspaper that has been in print for over one hundred years.

As Kim wrote here, the entire police force raided both the newspaper office, the home of the publisher, and homes of two of the reporters. They took phones, computers, servers, files, and more. What was it about?? A story that was NEVER published. 

That’s right. And, due to the stress and the raid on Eric Meyer’s home, his mother, Joan Meyer, who also was a long-time publisher for the Marion County Record, died from the stress and shock the next day. 

A death certificate indicates she died from sudden cardiac arrest — due, her son believes, to heartbreak, sadness, and disbelief that police would seize equipment from the newspaper that she, her late husband, and her only child bought to prevent a newspaper chain gobbling up yet another small-town publication.

“Where are all the good people?” she tearfully asked her son.

“She believed in the good people,” pastor Ron DeVore said.

About 100 of them gathered Saturday at Valley United Methodist Church, where she was the church’s longest-term member, to say goodbye to her. The smell of stargazer lilies filled the nave.

While there are many in the media who get things wrong, in this case it was media from all sides who brought this story to international attention. It was a heinous and egregious infringement on our First Amendment rights. And people stepped up in support.

Then, suddenly, the prosecutor (where was he before all this took place?!) reviews everything and sees that none of the warrants used to raid and seize equipment and cell phones were correct

The top prosecutor in Marion County, Kan., said on Wednesday that there was not sufficient evidence to support a raid on a local newspaper last week, and that all the devices and materials obtained in the search would be returned.

Joel Ensey, the Marion County attorney, said in a statement that, in light of the insufficient evidence, he directed local law enforcement to return the seized material.

Not only that, but the affidavits weren’t filed until three days after the raids took place.

Has all the seized material been returned? That is unclear at this time. As Eric Meyer noted, he believes some of this overreaction to this incident stems from long-time animosities. Which doesn’t make any of this right. 

Furthermore, to run essentially warrantless raids on a newspaper for a story they DIDN’T print, has the prosecutor, the judge involved, the police department, AND the city council on the hot seat. 

And the next Marion County city council meeting is tomorrow. Will they address the elephant in the room? In a word, NO. 

The Marion City Council will meet Monday for the first time since police raided the local newspaper, kicking off an international firestorm of condemnation.

“COUNCIL WILL NOT COMMENT ON THE ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AT THIS MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” the agenda says.

That’s 47 exclamation points.

The agenda, which you can read here, makes it very clear in red all caps that nothing will be said about the raid on the newspaper and its employees. In fact, the mayor is AWOL. Supposedly he’s on vacation. But won’t take time to even attend via Zoom? Other city council members aren’t taking nor returning phone calls. 

Here’s the kicker in all of this. One of the newspaper reporters is ALSO the Vice Mayor. Ruth Herbel’s home was raided as well, and her only cell phone was taken. Which left her in a major bind given she also cares for her husband who is battling dementia. 

Here again is the question. Why is the city council ducking their responsibilities for handling this issue? The police department ANSWERS to the Mayor and City Council. But the issue isn’t on the agenda? And a stompy foot statement to the effect is the only word on it? 

There’s a lot that stinks here, and avoiding the issue won’t make it go away. 

I’m sure, given that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is involved, that the council won’t be able to comment on THAT part of the investigation. But to screechingly state that there will be zero discussion of the incident as a whole? It seems to me that the council is just hoping all this will blow over and go away. 

Running away from the problem just makes the situation worse. 

Feature Photo Credit:  First Amendment and reporter typewriter via iStock, cropped and modified

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  • Cameron says:

    Don’t let them hide. The people should force them to address these issues and when they try to run away, they find pissed off citizens blocking the exits.

  • GWB says:


    Let justice roll like the tide over these petit tyrants!

    And I’m not surprised the DA found the affidavits were sketch. I pointed that out with the very limited info we had right after this went down. I did not know they were filed after the raids. That’s a typical leftist tyranny move.

    The only thing I will stomp my foot on is, DO NOT let this be laid out as something to do with “the press.” This has to do with every citizen in America.

  • Blackwing1 says:

    I’m going to suggest that the so-called federal Department of Justice [sic] could prosecute everyone shown to be involved under US Code 18 Section 241, which states:

    “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same…
    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both…”

    They could also use Section 242 which goes on in part:

    “Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both…”

    Nah, they’re far too busy incarcerating grandmothers who were escorted into the Capitol Building by the D.C. police, and figuring out how to charge a former president and his aides with novel crimes for things that aren’t criminal activity.

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