Affidavit: Sheriff’s charges stem from girlfriend’s DUI stop
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff who’s charged with two misdemeanors tried unsuccessfully to interfere in the drunken driving arrest of his girlfriend, according to charging documents.
Montgomery County Sheriff Robert Dierks told a Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent that his girlfriend of two years ultimately broke up with him because she said he “ruined her life by not helping her get out of a DUI,” according to the affidavit released Thursday. He is charged with interference with law enforcement and witness intimidation.
Deputy Ian Hurst, who pulled over the woman in January 2018 in a rural part of the county, said she refused a field sobriety tests and told him to call “Bobby” because she was the sheriff’s girlfriend, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent wrote in the affidavit.
While Hurst was consulting with his supervisor about what to do, the woman called the sheriff herself. She then handed the phone to Hurst, who explained to the sheriff that the caller who reported his girlfriend’s erratic driving to dispatch was watching and that she had possibly hit something.
Dierks said he would pick her up, but before he got there, Hurst headed to jail with her. The affidavit says Dierks called and sounded surprised. Hurst responded: “Sir. To be honest, if the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t be asking you to do this.”
Dierks told Hurst he was doing the right thing and hated to be putting him in this position. But Dierks then asked the deputy if there was any way he could change the deputy’s mind. After Hurst said no, the sheriff said to continue to the jail.
The woman then refused to give a breath sample, and a search warrant for a blood sample was granted. The woman pleaded with Dierks to do something, the affidavit said. But Dierks said he told her that he couldn’t help because he was the sheriff and not her attorney. She eventually provided the blood sample, and Dierks allowed her to be released on her own recognizance without posting bail. He said he didn’t know at the time that it was her second DUI arrest, the KBI agent wrote.
The affidavit says Dierks then talked to Hurst about not attending her driver’s license hearing. But Hurst’s supervisor and the undersheriff told Hurst to attend the hearing, where the woman lost her license. The undersheriff told Dierks it was “inappropriate to ask one of his deputies to purposely not show up at the hearing.” When an arresting officer doesn’t appear in court, judges often dismiss cases or continue the trials.
Dierks told the KBI agent he didn’t instruct deputies not to arrest the woman but admitted that he told them it would be nice if they didn’t show up for her hearing “because he did not want to drive (her) and her kids around everywhere if she lost her license.” Dierks said he later apologized to the deputies.
Dierks and his attorney, Edward Battitori, didn’t immediately return phone messages from The Associated Press.