An interaction between Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple and a Wichita police officer is at the center of an ethics complaint that had been filed last year with the city's ethics review board. The board released its report on the event Thursday saying the mayor violated part of council policy by using his office for personal gain.

Wichita City Council Member Jeff Blubaugh read the report and says "From what I read and interpreted out of it, he had a privilege that the normal constituents and normal citizens of Wichita wouldn't have that privilege."

The review board says Whipple violated the policy by calling the city manager during the exchange with the officer, leading him to ultimately being able to dump trash at a community clean-up without waiting in line.

Council members say the board was established in 2021 to review situations like this one where an elected official had violated the code.

"What we heard a lot right before the pandemic was concerned about that transparency, concerns about ethics here in the city, and the council worked really hard to make sure that we got to an ethics committee that works," Councilman Brandon Johnson told KAKE Friday.

Whipple will have to undergo ethics training as part of the review but the board ruled his violation was not serious and did not warrant an additional fine or punishment. Johnson says the education component of the punishment was something the council wanted when it put the board in place.

"It's those types of things that really help us out and I think make better-elected officials."

The board has only started meeting consistently since January but council members say in the few decisions it has made so far, it is doing exactly what it should be.

Blubaugh says at first "my concern early on was I was afraid this was gonna turn into a political chess game of some sort. By looking at the ethics board committee, you've got a lot of professionals on there."

Mayor Whipple was out of state Friday but a city spokesperson sent us a statement on his behalf:

"I appreciate the work of the ethics board in reviewing this matter. I accept responsibility for my actions and apologize for any disappointment or distraction that this has caused. I have learned from this experience and am committed to moving forward with integrity and a renewed determination to continue my work for the people of Wichita."