Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2001

No results in police probe

August 1, 2001

It will be mid August before any details are known concerning the ongoing investigation into the Baldwin City Police Department.

City Administrator Larry Paine said members of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Kansas Highway Patrol, as well as special counsel Robert Bennett, will be given all the time they need to do a thorough review of policies and procedures in the department, as well as checking into allegations lodged against a former member of the police force.

"They're going to do what it takes them to do, then they'll get back to us and we'll take it from there," said Paine. "The most important thing is for them to have enough time to do it right. We don't want to put any time constraints on them to insure that they have the ability to look into everything."

G.H. Rhea, a member of the Baldwin police force for the past two years, resigned in mid July as a result of allegations brought against him. Those allegations have not been made public, but officials have said they involve alleged misconduct.

Those allegations were brought to the attention of Paine and City Attorney Bob Bezek, who then suspended Rhea. The Baldwin City Council then voted to hire Bennett as special counsel to conduct the investigation and the KHP and KBI were notified. Rhea resigned about a week later, but denied all allegations.

Since that time, the investigators have been on the job, but have not spoken to Paine about any findings to this point. That's the way he wants it in order to be objective when the final conclusions are made by the investigators.

"I do know for sure the interviews are going on," said Paine. "One of the things I'm making sure is I don't want to know who says what in those interviews."

He encouraged residents to "be patient" about the investigation. He also said it could be finished sometime around Aug. 15.

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