Judge releases Kansas Senate Majority leader from wrong-way driving & DUI charges in first hearing

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A judge has released Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop Tuesday morning in his first hearing, citing no probable cause after law enforcement arrested him on DUI charges.

Gene Suellentrop (Courtesy Photo/Shawnee County Department of Corrections)

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Suellentrop was driving a white SUV and going the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of I-70 around 12:45 a.m. After what KHP called “a short pursuit,” authorities arrested Suellentrop just before 4 a.m. on charges including driving under the influence and fleeing law enforcement.

Law enforcement booked Suellentrop into the Shawnee County Jail after stopping his car. Online booking records show that the Wichita Republican also faced charges of speeding and crossing a divided highway.

After the arrest and booking, Shawnee County District Court Judge Penny Moylan released Suellentrop during his first hearing around 10:40 a.m.

“Mr. Suellentrop, you’re being held on allegations of driving under the influence, and fleeing and eluding. I reviewed the law enforcement officer report. At this time, I do not find probable cause to support your arrest and detention based upon failure to include some pertinent information within in that law enforcement officer report. As such, you’re going to be released at this time, okay?”

Penny Moylan, Shawnee County District Court Judge

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson’s office confirmed the arrest and said it was gathering information about the incident. The Capitol Police said it occurred on I-70 near an exit north of downtown Topeka.

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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December 31 2021 11:59 pm