Topeka, KS - Domestic Violence Case's Still Not being Prosecuted


This is beyond insane and illegal. See 9-22-2011: Claudine Dombrowski on Intimate Partner Violence and Barry Goldstein protecting Battered Women in the Courtrooms on Zeus Radio


Interim city manager Dan Stanley hoped to see Topeka's governing body reach a consensus Tuesday on how to deal with Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor's decision to stop prosecuting misdemeanors committed in the capital city, including domestic battery.

That didn't happen, Stanley said after a work session Tuesday evening focusing on that topic.

Amplify’d from cjonline.com
Interim city manager Dan Stanley spoke Tuesday evening at a work session where the Topeka City Council discussed how to react to District Attorney Chad Taylor's decision to stop prosecuting misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic batteries.  TIM HRENCHIR/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

Stanley said he will continue the discussion next week, when he will arrange for the governing body to hear the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would repeal the part of city ordinance making domestic battery a crime.

Such a move would force the district attorney to handle the prosecution of those who commit domestic battery in Topeka, according to the city attorney's office.

Council members John Alcala, Sylvia Ortiz, Chad Manspeaker, Bob Archer and Andrew Gray each indicated at the work session they could support repealing the domestic battery ordinance.

"If the D.A. thinks that we don't want to play hardball, I say we all suit up and play hardball," Manspeaker said.

Alcala said, however, that he also could support entering into a one-time arrangement for 2012 through which the city, the county commission and the district attorney enter into a "friendly compromise" to share prosecution costs.

Stanley said after Tuesday's session that he saw no clear direction from a majority of the governing body on what to do and would continue the discussion when the governing body next week hears the first reading of the proposal to repeal the domestic battery ordinance.

Governing body members generally act on proposed ordinances one week after they are heard for first reading.

Taylor announced Sept. 8 that he would no longer prosecute  misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic battery, saying his action required the city attorney's office to prosecute the cases his office would no longer handle, an obligation Stanley said the city isn't prepared to execute.

Stanley told governing body members last week the city's options included:

■ Seeking to negotiate an agreement through which the city would pay some costs to help finance the district attorney's prosecution of misdemeanors.

■ Seeking some period of transition while the city develops a program for prosecuting and providing services related to domestic battery cases.

■ Trying to force the district attorney to prosecute.

Stanley said the proposal on next week's agenda for first reading would  pursue the latter strategy by seeking to repeal the ordinance banning domestic battery the council adopted as part of the uniform public offense code developed by the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Chief city prosecutor Craig Spomer said the city may repeal the section regarding domestic battery while leaving the rest of the code in place.

Spomer said Topeka police officers filing reports on cases regarding domestic battery have written them up "since the beginning" under the state statute banning that crime instead of under the city ordinance.

He said the city "for a lot of years" hasn’t prosecuted domestic batteries, as the district attorney's office has handled those.

In response to a question from Councilwoman Denise Everhart, Spomer said the city's repeal of its domestic battery ordinance wouldn't necessarily mean Taylor would choose to prosecute the cases involved.

Everhart  asked Stanley about his statement  reported in The Topeka Capital-Journal last week that if he had to pick from among the city's options, he would arrange for it to assume prosecution of the domestic battery cases.

Stanley replied that he would choose that option "in a perfect world that I could construct with infinite money, the perfect court and perfect support system," though that isn’t what the city faces.

Stanley also told the governing body he had had discussions with county officials and senses "there is a willingness to negotiate something that is fair to all."

Read more at cjonline.com