Former Roeland Park mayoral candidate Linda Mau for the first time publicly accused a city councilwoman of sending an anonymous flier in hopes of derailing her election.
On Monday, Mau — a 28-year resident of Roeland Park and a candidate for mayor last month — asked the Roeland Park City Council to censure Councilwoman Megan England.
Mau read a letter to the City Council accusing England of sending out an anonymous flier about Mau just days before the April election.
“The mailer was sent not only to cost me the election but to personally destroy me,” Mau said. “There is a surveillance tape of the person dropping off the flier for production and the same person picking up the flier and paying for it.”
England, who listened as Mau read her letter, later denied the allegations.
“This is baseless,” she told reporters after the meeting. “I did not make that flier, take it to the store or pay for it and pick it up.”
England said she used the store, but not for the purpose Mau claimed.
“I go to this store all the time,” she said. “Of course there’s videotape of me at that store.”
Robert Meyers, Jr., president of the Roeland Park City Council, said in an interview he doesn’t think Mau provided sufficient evidence to show that England was behind the flier. “It’s a he-said, she-said situation. Say Bob Meyers is a bank robber. Okay, prove it.”
Roeland Park Special Prosecutor Dan Church, who is investigating the matter, said censure would have no legal consequence. The council will discuss the issue again June 3, when it expects to get Church’s report.
Mau filed a formal complaint with the Johnson County Election Commission, claiming the flier broke state law because it did not disclose the sponsor.
The commission sent the complaint to Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, who said only first-class cities must obey state election statutes concerning political mailings.
Anonymous political fliers are illegal in first-class cities with larger populations, like Overland Park. But the state law doesn’t address such campaign violations in second-class cities, such as Roeland Park, which has 6,800 citizens, or third-class cities, with fewer residents.
“Basically there’s nothing legal I’m aware of that I could do legally,” said Mau’s lawyer, Susan Hunt. “That’s what Linda Mau wants to do, change the laws.”
Mau says she has assembled a group of Kansas legislators, along with Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby, who is willing to look at the lack of election laws for second- and third-class cities.
The group will take up the issue next month. It includes state Rep. Valdenia Winn, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, and Republican state Reps. Melissa Rooker of Fairway and Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills.