The former deputy director and spokesman for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was charged Thursday in Topeka with sexual exploitation of a child and interfering with law enforcement.
The formal charges accused Kyle G. Smith, 57, of possessing, between Nov. 7 and Nov. 15, an electronic photo of a child under the age of 18 who was “engaging in sexually explicit conduct.”
Prosecutors also alleged that between Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 he interfered with phone and computer evidence to hinder investigators.
A Shawnee County jail official told the Associated Press that Smith was released late Thursday afternoon after posting a $15,000 surety bond.
KBI Director Kirk Thompson appointed Smith as the agency’s deputy director in September 2011. Smith left the agency late in 2013, with a KBI spokesman declining to discuss the departure and telling Topeka reporters that it was a “confidential personnel matter.”
A spokesman for the Shawnee County district attorney declined to elaborate on the charges, but Thompson issued a short statement Thursday night.
“We are saddened and disappointed that a past employee of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is alleged to have committed the acts charged today...,” Thompson said, adding that agency was withholding further comment on a case that’s “properly before the courts.”
Court records show that prosecutors had identified almost 40 witnesses against Smith, including agents and lab personnel from the KBI and the FBI. The list also includes a witness from the Heart of America Regional Criminal Forensics Laboratory, which specializes in securing electronic evidence in child abuse and exploitation cases.
According to a KBI biography released at the time of his 2011 appointment to the bureau’s senior leadership team, Smith had worked as a prosecutor, law enforcement officer and administrator for 30 years.
Smith received his law degree from the University of Kansas in 1981 and spent six years prosecuting in the Lyon County Attorney’s Office. Emporia is the county seat.
He joined the KBI in 1987 as general counsel, and also was appointed assistant attorney general.
Three years later, Smith received his commission as a law enforcement officer and transferred to a new KBI narcotics strike force.
In 2007, he left the KBI to become the executive director of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. Smith returned to Topeka to work as legal adviser to the Topeka Police Department and joined the attorney general’s office in 2011.
After later rejoining the KBI, he continued to serve as an assistant attorney general.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt praised Smith on his appointment, saying he and two other new leaders of the bureau were “dedicated law enforcement professionals committed to keeping Kansans safe.”