Mayor of Shawnee Perjury Charges Detailed

The perjury charge filed against the mayor of Shawnee stems from an open meetings complaint she allegedly filed using the name of another person without his permission, a court document shows.

The investigation into Michelle Distler was opened on March 10 after a local government watchdog informed Shawnee police that he had received an email from the state attorney general’s office confirming receipt of his online complaint filed under the Kansas Open Meetings Act, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The watchdog, whose name was redacted in the court document, told police he had not submitted the open records complaint, and if someone used his information to file one, it was done without his authorization.

An investigator with the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office subsequently obtained the I.P. address associated with the complaint and traced it to Distler.

That complaint, which claimed an open records violation over an email chain involving four City Council members and another person, includes a section on the online form declaring under penalty of perjury that the information provided is true and correct.