Former Kansas Senate Leader Takes Plea Deal

A Wichita Republican who was one of the Kansas Legislature’s most powerful lawmakers has pleaded no contest to driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Former Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop changed his previous not guilty pleas as part of a deal that dropped a felony charge of trying to elude law enforcement while speeding the wrong way on highways in Topeka.

A Shawnee County District Judge found Suellentrop guilty, and sentenced him to 6 months in jail for the DUI and 90 days for reckless driving.

The bulk of the jail sentences were suspended, but Suellentrop will serve 48 hours in jail and be on probation for a year.

Suellentrop had already resigned his post as Senate majority leader as the charges were pending.

Law enforcement recordings released in response to an open records request showed multiple people reported Suellentrop’s white SUV traveling the wrong way on I-470 in Topeka early on March 16th.