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Top Kansas Republican Facing Felony Charges Following Arrest And Attempting To Evade Police

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Kansas Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, a Republican, is facing felony charges following his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and attempting to flee law enforcement.

Citing an affidavit submitted by Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Austin Shepley, the Lawrence Journal-World reported that the powerful GOP lawmaker had a blood-alcohol level that was twice the legal limit and taunted the Highway Patrol officer who arrested him last month for allegedly speeding the wrong way on an interstate.

According to documents released Thursday, Suellentrop, 69, refused to take a Breathalyzer test and at one point, he called Shepley “donut boy.”

“While the phlebotomist was administering the blood kit, Gene Suellentop’s demeanor becoming slightly aggressive in his tone, he made reference to physically going up against me,” Shepley said. “He looked me up and down, stating he played state sports competitively in high school. He stated he could ‘take me.’”

Suellentrop holds the state Senate’s second-highest leadership job, and the majority leader decides which proposals are debated each day. He has stepped away from most of his legislative duties until the criminal case is resolved.

Suellentrop’s attorney, Tom Lemon, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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