Kansas lawmaker charged with traffic violations but not DUI

Jan 28, 2022, 11:39 AM | Updated: 1:16 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A state legislator has been charged with two traffic violations over his late November arrest on Interstate 70 in northeast Kansas but not with driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, the potential crime initially listed by the Highway Patrol.

Democratic state Rep. Aaron Coleman, of Kansas City, also still faces a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in a separate criminal case in the Kansas City area over an Oct. 30 fight with his younger brother. Coleman pled not guilty, and a scheduling hearing in that case is set for Wednesday in Johnson County District Court.

In neighboring Douglas County, home to Lawrence and the main University of Kansas campus, Coleman faces charges of speeding and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle as required by law over a Nov. 27 stop. A complaint filed Jan. 21 by an assistant district attorney says Coleman was driving 92 mph (148 kph) when the post speed limit was 75 mph (121 kph). Together, the charges could result in several hundred dollars in fines.

Coleman is scheduled to have the charges formally read to him and enter a plea on April 15, during a break in the Kansas Legislature’s annual session. His attorney, David Bell, declined comment.

Coleman has been embroiled in controversy since he ran for the House in 2020, when he acknowledged past abuses against girls and young women. A legislative committee reprimanded Coleman in writing in February 2020 over those abuses. After his two arrests within a month, six female Democrats in the House filed a complaint against him with the House designed to lead to his ouster.

The Kansas Highway Patrol initially said he had been arrested in Douglas County on suspicion of DUI, but a decision on charges waited on the report to the district attorney’s office from the patrol on the substances in Coleman’s body at the time of the stop. Coleman has said he wasn’t under the influence.

Jill Jess, a spokesperson for the Douglas County district attorney’s office, said the charges were “based on evidence presented,” without elaborating. The Associated Press has requested a copy of the patrol’s report.

“Mr. Coleman faces no further charges in Douglas County at this time,” she wrote.

Coleman is free on bond in both criminal cases. At the Statehouse, he’s been pursuing a liberal agenda and earlier this month introduced a bill to reduce criminal penalties for possessing or distributing psychedelic mushrooms. But Democratic leaders have refused to give him any committee assignments.

The complaint filed against him by six fellow Democrats revived the committee of three Republicans and three Democrats that admonished him in writing last year. But its chairman has said it doesn’t plan to meet again until Coleman’s criminal cases are resolved.

In the Johnson County case, Coleman was ordered to undergo a mental health exam. Court documents said Coleman, who is Jewish, had a fight with his younger brother over the brother’s plans for a Christian baptism.

A police sergeant wrote in an affidavit that Coleman was uncooperative and “extremely erratic,” and that he reported not sleeping for three days. Coleman tweeted Nov. 25 — two days before his arrest in Douglas County — that he’s suffered from chronic insomnia “my whole adult life.”


Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - The JPMorgan Chase & Co. logo is displayed at their headquarters in New York on Oct. 21, 201...
Associated Press

Safety deposit boxes headed toward extinction at Chase

NEW YORK (AP) — You’ll no longer be able to store your precious coins, jewelry and paperwork at JPMorgan Chase & Co., as the bank has stopped opening new safety deposit boxes for customers. A spokesman for the bank said Chase decided late last year to stop offering new deposit boxes to customers as a […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

US judge dismisses Mexico lawsuit against gun manufacturers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A U.S. federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Mexican government against U.S. gun manufacturers arguing their commercial practices has led to bloodshed in Mexico. Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Boston ruled Mexico’s claims did not overcome the broad protection provided to gun manufacturers by the Protection of […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to voice her dissent with an abortion r...
Associated Press

Arizona judge won’t suspend ruling that halted all abortions

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge on Friday declined to put her order that allowed enforcement of a pre-statehood law making it a crime to provide an abortion on hold, saying abortion right groups that asked her to block the order are not likely to prevail on appeal. The ruling from Pima County Superior Court […]
19 hours ago
A slag pile of mining waste is seen in Anaconda, Mont., on Dec. 15, 2016. A subsidiary of London-ba...
Associated Press

Montana site fouled by copper smelter to get final cleanup

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A subsidiary of London-based oil giant BP agreed to finish its cleanup of a 300-square mile (776-square kilometer) site in Montana that’s contaminated with arsenic and other pollutants from decades of copper smelting, and to repay the U.S. government $48 million in response costs. Under a legal decree filed Friday in […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A TV screen shows a file image of a North Korean missile launch during a news program at the...
Associated Press

North Korea fires 4th round of missile tests in 1 week

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters, South Korean and Japanese officials said, making it the fourth round of weapons launches this week that are seen as a response to military drills among its rivals. South Korea’s military said in a statement that it […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Britney Spears supporters celebrate following a hearing concerning the pop singer's conserva...
Associated Press

After #FreeBritney, California to limit conservatorships

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill limiting conservatorships that grant legal guardianship over individuals, a move that comes after Britney Spears’ conservatorship case garnered national attention amid her attempts to regain control over her finances and livelihood. The new law, authored by Democratic Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, will require […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Kansas lawmaker charged with traffic violations but not DUI