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Details of Cody’s background emerge

Staff writer

Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody, who led the illegal raid Aug. 11 on the Marion County Record, “always had this attitude that ‘I can do whatever I want,’ ” a former internal affairs detective for Kansas City police told the Record on Friday.

“He thinks he’s above everyone,” the former detective said. “I’ve known him since he was brand spanking new. I worked with and for him.”

Cody is a “sneaky” person and showed bad judgment dealing with subordinates and Kansas City residents, the source said.

“There would be a line out your door and down your block of people he has treated wrong,” the detective said. “The violations of policies he’s made, I’ve lost count.

“He has horrible, horrible ‘little man syndrome.’ His ego is taller than he is.”

Fearing reprisal, the former detective asked not to be named. However, the Record has verified details of the source’s employment record.

The Record earlier reported that Cody had driven over a dead man in Kansas City.

The source gave more details Friday.

The source said Cody often joked about running over the man.

Cody sped through an active fatality scene in downtown Kansas City while leading an unrelated police chase, compromising evidence and running over the man, the source said.

The man Cody ran over had jumped from a higher interstate, and his body landed “splat in the middle of the interstate below,” the source said.

Police still were shutting down the area and diverting traffic when Cody, the source said, plowed through the scene.

While police suspected the man had committed suicide, they hadn’t yet confirmed that.

Someone could have pushed him off the higher interstate, or his body could have ended up in the middle of the lower interstate for some other reason, the source stressed.

Cody “basically screwed up the whole crime scene,” the source said.

Cody was transferred and suspended as a result of the incident, one of many in which he used bad judgment, the source said.

Cody retired from the police department a year early — his last day was the same day that Marion Mayor David Mayfield offered him the job — because he was about to be demoted to sergeant for making inappropriate, sexist comments to a female employee, multiple sources have told the Record.

In a story published Saturday by the Washington Post, Cody admitted that he was about to be demoted. In an April 23 interview with the Record, he specifically denied that he was facing demotion and threatened to sue if that fact were reported.

Not only would demotion have destroyed Cody’s ego, sources have said, it also would have impacted his retirement.

“Here’s the thing about being demoted,” the source said. “Your retirement is based on the average of your last two years.”

When an employee is demoted to a lower rank, they’re paid the top pay scale of that rank, the source said.

Cody made $115,848 at the time of his retirement as a commander.

If he had stayed and been demoted, “he was going to lose a huge percentage of his retirement,” the source said.

Cody makes $60,000 as Marion’s chief. He remains on duty.

Under city code, Mayfield could suspend Cody but has not. The city council has not discussed Cody’s future with the city.

“I don’t have any intention of doing anything until the KBI finishes their investigation,” Mayfield told the Record on Friday.

The Record will update this story as it unfolds.

Last modified Aug. 27, 2023

 

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