Publisher of Marion County Record Sues City Officials for Constitutional Rights Violation in Raid, Seeking Over $4.5 Million in Damages

WICHITA, Kan. – A lawsuit has been filed by Eric Meyer, publisher and editor of the Marion County Record, against the City of Marion and various officials. Last August, the newspaper’s offices underwent a police raid where electronics were seized. Meyer claims this violated his constitutional rights and attributes the subsequent death of his mother to the stress caused by the raid.

Meyer’s lawsuit targets the City of Marion, former mayor David Mayfield, then-Police Chief Gideon Cody, acting chief Zach Hudlin, the Marion County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Jeff Soyez, and detective Aaron Christner. Seeking compensation for personal damages, Meyer is requesting a minimum of $1.5 million, in addition to approximately $3 million for harm to the newspaper’s business and related legal fees.

Following the raid, several lawsuits have been filed. Brogan Jones, the City Administrator, resigned from their position, and Cody was initially suspended before subsequently resigning in October. This marks the fourth lawsuit related to the raid, with previous claims made by reporters Deb Gruver and Phyllis Zorn, and most recently, Cheri Bentz, the newspaper’s office manager.

The events surrounding the raid and subsequent legal actions have raised concerns about press freedom and the rights of journalists. The allegations made against the City of Marion and its officials highlight the potential consequences of overreach and the impact it can have on both individuals and the business community.

The Marion County Record has been a long-standing pillar of the community, providing local news and information to its readership. The lawsuit’s demand for significant financial compensation not only reflects the damages suffered by Meyer but also underscores the importance of protecting the rights of the press.

As the legal proceedings progress, the outcome will potentially set a precedent for future cases involving press freedom and police conduct. The lawsuit draws attention to the need for a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the raid and raises questions about the actions taken by the City of Marion and its officials.

Given the gravity of the allegations and the potential implications for both the newspaper and the community it serves, this lawsuit is attracting significant attention. The pursuit of justice and accountability is at the forefront, with Meyer seeking restitution for the infringement of his rights and the alleged harm caused to the Marion County Record.