Judge to hear arguments in case against Kansas commissioner


A federal judge plans to hear oral arguments on whether the federal government has needlessly interjected itself in matters traditionally reserved for states when it charged a Sedgwick County commissioner Michael O’Donnell.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren set on Wednesday a hearing for Aug. 17 on two pending defense motions seeking to dismiss all or part of the indictment.

O’Donnell is accused of misspending more than $10,000 in campaign funds and then covering it up. He has pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment alleging wire fraud and money laundering.

The defense argued “over zealous prosecution” sometimes occurs when prosecutors throw a wide net. It contends O’Donnell came to law enforcement’s attention during an investigation of others.

Prosecutors countered the indictment alleges federal crimes properly brought before federal courts.

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