One of the most powerful men in the Kansas State Legislature announced earlier this week that he plans to step down after being arrested for speeding and a wrong-way DUI in March 2021.
KTLA reports that Former Senate Majority Leader Senator Gene Suellentrop ( R ) announced on Tuesday, November 29, that he will retire in January 2023.
Records indicate that in the early morning of March 16, 2021, Kansas State Patrol officers received numerous calls of a vehicle traveling the wrong way on Interstate 70 near Topeka at a high rate of speed. KHP officers arrested Senator Sullentrop after a short pursuit reaching speeds of up to approximately 90 miles per hour.
Suellentrop was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, improper crossover on a divided highway, and attempting to evade law enforcement officers. An affidavit submitted to the court showed that Senator Sullentrop had a blood-alcohol level of .17 – more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.
In November of 2021, Senator Sullentrop pleaded no contest to all charges except the felony evading charge, which was dropped. A judge ordered the senator to serve 48 hours in jail and two years of probation.
Almost immediately following the incident, fellow Republicans in the Kansas legislature removed Sullentrop from his position of Senate leader and all committee positions after court documents showed alleged belligerence toward officers on the night of his arrest.
While not up for re-election until 2024, Senator Sullentrop said, “There are too many things in my life that are important, at this stage, than serving in the Kansas legislature.”
He then thanked his constituents for supporting him for the 13 years he served as a lawmaker in Kansas.