No charges for Wichita mayor after investigation: DA

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The Sedgwick County District Attorney says no charges will be filed after completing an investigation into Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell.  

The investigation began after District Attorney Marc Bennett received e-mails laying out concerns related to a recent Wichita Eagle article on the water treatment plant contract. 

A news release from the district attorney says the allegations claim a company paid thousands of dollars for Longwell to play in several local golf tournaments from 2017-2019 but the mayor didn't file a ''substantial interest'' form as required.  

Kansas law states that a local office holder needs to file a Substantial Interest form when "goods or services" valued at $500 or more are received from a business or combination of businesses within the previous year. 

Based on the evidence collected, the district attorney says Longwell received $521.33 in "goods or services" in 2016, which would be $21.33 over the limit. 

The district attorney says the mayor didn't think the golf outings were required to be filed and has asked the mayor to file corrected forms reflecting the payments made.  

"I acknowledge the Mayor’s explanation that he did not believe golf outings were “goods or services,” but my conclusion is consistent with the definition of “goods or services” endorsed by the State of Kansas in other areas of law. The Mayor filed his Substantial Interest Form in 2017 for goods or services received in 2016 but incorrectly submitted it to the Kansas Secretary of State. For local office holders, Campaign Finance forms are filed with the Secretary of State, while Substantial Interest forms are filed with the local County Election Commissioner."

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