TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced Tuesday he’s filed criminal charges against Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins. This follows an investigation by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.
Kagay took over the investigation in April. Watkins came under investigation by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office after allegations that he listed a Topeka UPS store for his address when voting in the 2019 general election.
The investigation was delayed significantly due to the coronavirus shutdown, Kagay said. But his office maintained constant contact with the sheriff’s office and received regular updates on the gathering of documents and statements.
Watkins is charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor that relate to the 2019 local election:
- Interference with law enforcement, providing false information
- Voting without being qualified
- Unlawful advance voting
- Failing to notify the DMV of change of address
Sheriff Brian Hill released a statement Tuesday night.
In December of 2019, the Shawnee County Sheriffs Office began an investigation as to
whether Congressman Steve Watkins had violated certain voting laws in Shawnee
County, Kansas. After an investigation and review of documents and records from
several sources, the investigative findings were submitted to the Shawnee County
District Attorney for review. The charges filed by the District Attorney are reflective of the
factual allegations that were discovered by detectives during the course of this
investigation, which was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.
As with all criminal cases, Mr. Watkins is innocent until proven guilty by a court or jury.Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill
The first hearing is scheduled for Dec. 3.