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Crime and Courts

Michael O'Donnell Asks For Dismissal Of Federal Indictment

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Nadya Faulx
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KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O'Donnell, accused of misspending more than $10,000 in campaign funds and trying to cover it up, has asked a federal judge to dismiss his indictment.

In a filing Friday, O'Donnell contends the U.S. government needlessly interjected itself in matters traditionally reserved for state authorities.

O'Donnell has pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment alleging wire fraud and money laundering. He is accused of taking money from his campaign accounts and using it to pay himself and his friends.

He's also accused of falsely reporting the expenditures to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. 

The motion says "over zealous prosecution" sometimes occur when prosecutors throw a wide net on criminal corruption. It contends O'Donnell came to law enforcement's attention during an investigation of other higher profile people.

It argues investigators uncovered the alleged campaign finance violations and charged him instead of referring the matter to state officials.

If convicted, O'Donnell faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million.

In addition to serving as a county commissioner, O'Donnell also has been elected to the Wichita City Council and Kansas Senate.