Publisher sues Marion authorities

The Marion County Record has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against local authorities who planned and carried out a raid last year of the newspaper office and publishers' home.

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April 1, 2024 - 2:26 PM

The Marion County Record Photo by Tim Stauffer / Iola Register

TOPEKA — The Marion County Record has filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit against local authorities who planned and carried out the raid last year of the newspaper office and publishers’ home, accusing the “co-conspirators” of seeking revenge for unfavorable news coverage through falsified and invalid search warrants.

According to a 137-page complaint filed Monday, former Mayor David Mayfield ordered the takedown of the newspaper and a political rival after identifying journalists as “the real villains in America.”

The lawsuit claims defendants violated the First Amendment freedom of the press, the Fourth Amendment prohibition on warrantless searches, and federal and state laws that protect journalists — and their sources — from police raids. The lawsuit doesn’t specify the damages being sought for those claims.

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