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More 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 longtime 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.

The Record in April talked to seven people who worked for or with Cody in Kansas City. Some are former employees in the department. Some still work there.

“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.

Compromising evidence and running over the man, Cody sped through an active fatality scene in downtown Kansas City during an unrelated police chase.

The man 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.

Although police suspected the man had committed suicide, they hadn’t yet confirmed that when Cody ran over his body.

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 as a captain in Kansas City was the same day that Marion Mayor David Mayfield offered him the chief 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 vehemently denied that he was facing demotion and said that between April 21, when council member Zach Collett alerted him that law enforcement officers had spoken to a Record reporter, and April 23, when the reporter interviewed him about what sources had said about him, Cody hired a lawyer, Dawn Parsons, a shareholder at Shaffer Lombardo Shurin, a majority woman-owned law firm in Kansas City.

Parsons is a former prosecutor.

He told the reporter that if the Record planned to write negative stories about him, he simply wouldn’t take the chief job in Marion.

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 internal affairs detective 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 captain.

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

Other sources who spoke to the Record also said such.

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

Under city code, Mayfield could suspend Cody or place him on paid administrative leave but has not. As of Tuesday, the city council had 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.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2023

 

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