Former Kansas police chief charged with 34 counts in child sex crimes case
BURNS, Kan. (KAKE) - A former small-town police chief in east-central Kansas has been charged with 34 counts after his arrest for sexually exploiting children through electronic devices.
The El Dorado Police Department said Joel Womochil, the former chiefs of police in Burns, is currently charged with 24 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and 10 counts of aggravated internet trading of child pornography.
Authorities investigated on August 15 after getting a tip from the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. Womochil resigned as Burns police chief the week prior to his arrest.
Previous story from August 16:
A former police chief from a small town in Marion County has been arrested for child sex crimes.
Wednesday the Burns City Council held a special meeting to discuss his future as a possible police consultant. The Burns City Council made a motion to discuss former Police Chief Joel Womochil not in public but in executive session behind closed doors.
Womochil resigned as chief last week. On Tuesday, law enforcement arrested Womochil for alleged sexual exploitation of children through electronic devices.
Wormochil's resignation letter said, in part:
"I find it necessary to step down at this juncture. Recent events have made me reflect on my responsibilities as a leader and the impact my decisions have on the lives of others."
Once Womochil resigned, the Burns City Council offered him a law enforcement consultant position for the transition for the new chief.
At Wednesday's special meeting, the council voted to rescind the offer. Some residents no longer have trust in the Burns Police Department.
"I have absolutely no faith in the Burns Police Department whatsoever. So, I pretty much, I don't even call them. If I think someone is messing around my place, I am out there looking for them with a gun and a flashlight,” said Burns resident Wesley Castleberry.
And he says he has lost faith in the council for hiring Womochil in the first place.
"That city council hired this guy supposedly to keep the city of Burns safe. And yet what he's done? He's completely just stomped all over everyone's trust that he was hired to, you know, look over,” said Castleberry.
The mayor of Burns declined to comment on camera. He said off camera he had no idea about the sexual exploitation arrest before the council offered him the position of law enforcement consultant.