KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On Friday, the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners filed a lawsuit aimed at Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council after they voted to move over $42 million from the Kansas City Police Department’s budget.
The move came after the City Council had previously adopted the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget back in March of this year.
The Board’s lawsuit argues that state law gives the commissioners “exclusive management and control” of the police department and its appropriated funds.
A state statute that was passed in 1943 states that “any officer or servant of the mayor or common council” who “obstructs or hinders” the operation of the police board or the execution of duties prescribed to them, are liable to a $1,000 fine for each offense and would be forever disqualified from holding office in the city.
The police board is seeking all penalties under state law, and at least one Missouri civic group is applauding their effort to hold the mayor, city council members, and city manager accountable.
“It is clear that the eight council members, the mayor, and the city manager illegally interfered with the Police Commissioner’s sole legal right to disburse police funds that were appropriated to them,” said Liberty Alliance USA Executive Director Chris Vas.
“We live in a country based on the rule-of-law, and the officials who illegally snatched funds away from the hardworking men and women of the KCPD need to be held accountable. Anything short of them being fined and removed from office is unacceptable.”
There is no timeline available for the lawsuit, but Kansas City and Mayor Lucas have vowed to fight the lawsuit all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.