April 6, 2011
A state senator is defending her fast talking as she is stopped for speeding on the Kansas Turnpike. Wednesday another video is released by authorities, appearing to show Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau using her status to try to get out of a speeding ticket.
It was January 2010, on the Kansas Turnpike near the Emporia exit. A Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper stopped Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau for going 84 in a 70. His car camera recorded the stop.
"I'm a state senator. I just left Topeka," said Faust-Goudeau to the trooper.
Faust-Goudeau explains to the trooper that she just left the McDonalds and couldn't be going that fast already.
Several times she makes sure the trooper knows she's a legislator.
"I'm asking you this, if you would just give me a warning today. I'm asking you as a senator," said Faust-Goudeau. "I'm asking immunity."
The Senator also brought up that the stop may be related to racial profiling.
"Are you sure that this is not racial profiling?" asked Faust-Goudeau during the stop. "No Ma'am," replied the trooper saying it had nothing to do with racial profiling.
The trooper did end up giving Faust-Goudeau a ticket, which she paid. The trooper's supervisor says he called him immediately after the stop to report the more than 15 minute exchange, and did mention the racial profiling comment.
"When you have a state senator that says that to you, that raised a red flag for this officer. Why he was worried was he was thinking, 'I haven't done anything wrong, why would this be brought up,'" said Kansas Highway Patrol Capt. John Walters.
We caught up with Faust-Goudeau Wednesday afternoon at her home.
"Never in my mind was I using my status to get out of the ticket," she said.
This isn't the first tape released. Last month the Wichita police department released two videos showing Faust-Goudeau being stopped for speeding.
One in February of 2011 and the other in October of 2009. In each case she asked for leniency because she is a senator. Now that this third tape has been made public, she's wondering if someone is out to get her. "I'm starting to feel like a witch hunt. Someone is out to discredit me," she said.
Some of Faust-Goudeau's fellow legislators are responding to the incidents saying she is a good person, but made some bad judgment calls and should not have asked to get a warning "as a state senator."