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Unified Government warns investors of possible financial risk from upcoming McIntyre trial

Stephen Koranda
Kansas News Service
Lamonte McIntyre spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Now, he's suing the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, former Kansas City, Kansas, Police Detective Roger Golubski and other KCK police officers.

The trial of the lawsuit filed by Lamonte McIntyre, who was freed from prison in 2017 after serving 23 years in prison after he was exonerated, is scheduled to begin in October.

Officials with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, have acknowledged that an ongoing federal grand jury investigation and a related civil lawsuit against it alleging widespread police corruption could result in significant financial problems.

In a prospectus to prospective municipal bond investors, the Unified Government said that an unfavorable outcome in a lawsuit filed by a former Kansas City, Kansas, resident who was wrongfully convicted of a double-homicide in 1994 could have a “material adverse effect” on the Unified Government’s finances and operations.

The trial of the lawsuit brought by Lamonte McIntyre, who was exonerated and freed from prison in 2017 after serving 23 years in prison, is scheduled to begin in October.

Lawyers for McIntyre have previously said in court filings that they’re seeking up to $93 million in damages from the Unified Government for their client. McIntyre’s mother, Rose McIntyre, also a plaintiff in the case, is seeking $30 million in damages.

McIntyre claims that a sloppy and vindictive investigation by the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department into the slayings of Doniel Quinn and Donald Ewing resulted in his wrongful conviction. Rose McIntyre alleged that a detective in the case, Roger Golubski, sexually assaulted her in the late 1980s, continued pursuing her sexually and ultimately framed her son for the murders because she spurned him.

The damages Lamonte McIntyre and Rose McIntyre are seeking, a combined $123 million, would represent more than twice what the Unified Government spent to run its police department last year.

The financial risk disclosure appeared in a March 2 official statement to investors as the Unified Government sought to raise $45 million from the sale of general obligation bonds to pay for public improvements. Securities laws require government officials to disclose any significant risks that investors face if they decide to buy municipal bonds.

The document said the Unified Government faces a number of claims and lawsuits but, in the opinion of its lawyers, none of them would result in a material effect on government finances — except for the McIntyre case.

A similar bond offering by the Unified Government a year ago made no mention of the McIntyre lawsuit, which was filed in 2018.

"The Unified Government is required to disclose financial liability that could materially and adversely affect the Unified Government’s financial position," the Unified Government said through a spokesperson. "To that end, the Unified Government disclosed Lamonte McIntyre’s case. Because it is pending litigation, the Unified Government cannot comment further on the matter."

The March statement also referenced a federal grand jury investigation into Golubski that started in 2019. The precise nature of the grand jury matter remains unknown. KCUR reported in January on heavily redacted grand jury subpoenas that sought records from the Unified Government pertaining to officer misconduct, including the use of informants, internal affairs reports and files on several homicides.

Golubski has been publicly accusedof systematically exploiting Black women in Kansas City, Kansas, for decades by using his power as a police detective to demand sex from them and coerce them into offering fabricated testimony in support of cases he investigated. He also faces accusations that he shook down drug dealers in Kansas City, Kansas, and protected drug kingpins in the community.

The McIntyres are seeking to prove that top Kansas City, Kansas, police department officials knew about Golubski’s alleged misconduct and tolerated it.

In court filings, Golubski has denied the accusations against him.

A key hearing in the McIntyres' lawsuit began on Monday and continues through Tuesday in the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas. U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil is considering various motions by both sides, including motions to exclude evidence and move the trial to Wichita because of publicity surrounding the case in the Kansas City area.

This story comes from the Midwest Newsroom, an investigative journalism collaboration including IPRKCUR 89.3Nebraska Public Media NewsSt. Louis Public Radioand NPR.

For more in-depth news from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, we invite you to follow us on Twitter.

Steve Vockrodt is the former investigative editor for the Midwest Newsroom.