Sedgwick County Commissioner Resigns

A Republican county commissioner in Kansas resigned Friday after the local district attorney concluded there was sufficient evidence to begin ouster proceedings for his role in plotting to cover up their part in a false ad against a mayoral candidate in the state’s largest city.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell tendered his resignation after District Attorney Marc Bennett notified his attorney that he intended to initiate legal proceedings for forfeiture of public office.

O’Donnell had faced calls from Republicans to resign following the release of a recording made in November 2019, just two days before state Representative Brandon Whipple won the Wichita mayor’s race.

On the recording, O’Donnell, Republican state Representative Michael Capps, and Wichita City Council member James Clendenin could be heard plotting to frame Sedgwick County’s GOP chairman for a YouTube ad that falsely suggested that Whipple was accused of sexual harassment while serving in the Legislature.

The district attorney’s office said it would release information in the coming days regarding the other two officials who were also the subject of the investigation.