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Crime and Courts

UPDATE: Brownback Office Notified That Calls With O'Donnell Were Intercepted

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Nadya Faulx
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KMUW/File photo
Michael O'Donnell gives his victory speech in November at the Sedgwick County GOP Election Night event in Wichita.

Updated Wednesday, 4:58 p.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's phone calls with Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O'Donnell were among those intercepted by federal officials in 2015.

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KMUW obtained letters sent by the Department of Justice notifying Brownback and two members of his office that some phone calls with O'Donnell were intercepted between June 3 and July 1, 2015. O'Donnell was a state senator at the time.

The Wichita Eagle reported Tuesday that a former reporter and a former editor were each sent letters from the DOJ notifying them that communications they had with O’Donnell during the same period were among the calls that had been intercepted.

It is not clear what the DOJ was investigating.

At this time, O’Donnell had not responded to requests for comment from KMUW.

From the Wichita Eagle, Feb. 15, 2017:

The Eagle says other staff members were notified by the state U.S. attorney’s office that their phone calls with Wichita businessman Brandon Steven made between May 15 and June 13, 2015, had also been intercepted, but it is unclear if the two investigations are related.

Steven confirmed to the paper Tuesday that he is the subject of a federal inquiry into poker and his involvement in trying to open a casino in Kansas.

Below are the letters obtained by KMUW:

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