Special prosecutor appointed to Kansas senator’s DUI case

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A special prosecutor will decide whether to pursue a DUI charge against a Kansas legislator who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after his vehicle was found in a Topeka ditch.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said he assigned Franklin County Attorney Brandon Jones to state Sen. Vic Miller’s case. A special prosecutor investigates, and potentially prosecutes, cases in which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Kagay asked Jones to take the case because prosecutors in Kagay’s office had appeared before Miller when he was administrative judge for the Topeka Municipal Court, a position he held from 2011 to 2015.

“Having had direct dealings with him, and appearing in front of his committees during that process, I determined it would be best to have a special prosecutor review the case to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety,” Kagay said.

Topeka police arrested the 68-year-old Democratic legislator in May after finding him inside his crashed vehicle in the ditch. Police said Miller wasn’t injured but appeared intoxicated.

He was initially charged with DUI and inattentive driving in municipal court, but the city’s chief of prosecution had those charges dismissed and referred the case to Kagay’s office due to potential conflicts that could have arisen in municipal court because Miller was previously employed there.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com