TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay called the no-contest plea from former Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop to a DUI Class B misdemeanor and reckless driving and the sentence of two days in jail “appropriate” during a visit to KSNT Wednesday morning.
“It’s our job to try these cases when appropriate and it’s our job to work them out when appropriate,” Kagay said.
Suellentrop could have faced a maximum of six months in jail and a maximum fine of $750 to $1,000 for the DUI charge. He could have faced a $25.00 to $500 fine and 30 days in jail for the reckless driving charge. Instead, he pleaded no contest to DUI Class B misdemeanor and reckless driving. He was sentenced to 48 consecutive hours in the Shawnee County Jail, ordered to complete 8 therapy sessions, $136 in court costs as well as a $22 surcharge, and a $60 probation fee.
The charges stem from the March 2021 arrest when he went 90 miles per hour fleeing law enforcement the wrong way on highways through Topeka, according to the criminal complaint.
“I can assure you there was no special anything with this case,” Kagay said. “It was treated exactly the same as if anyone had those same set of circumstances.”
Kagay said the former senate majority leader was treated like anyone who walks through those courtroom doors.
Kagay said his office is working on the backlog of cases following the slowdown caused by the global pandemic. “Ninety-five percent of cases are resolved by plea agreement,” Kagay said. “We are getting forward movement. Pleas are happening, cases are getting resolved.”