Crime & Courts

Kansas cop’s license revoked over old domestic violence conviction

. The Wichita Eagle

A Kansas agency has revoked the law enforcement certification of a former Butler County sheriff’s deputy who recently resigned from his job as a Marion police sergeant and K-9 handler.

The revocation of Michael Stone’s law enforcement certification is because of a 1995 conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence, according to a summary order of revocation obtained by The Eagle on Tuesday.

The certification is like a license, and without it a person can’t work as a law enforcement officer in the state.

The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training posted on its website that it issued a summary order of revocation for Michael Stone. The action was effective Tuesday.

The commission found that Stone signed a form in 2012, around the time he joined the Marion Police Department, saying he met certification requirements – including that he had no misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. But he did have such a conviction, in 1995. It didn’t matter that the conviction had been dismissed or expunged.

Stone couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

The five-page revocation order lays out this narrative and explanation:

▪ On Dec. 15, 1995, Stone pleaded no contest and was found guilty in a Kern County, California court of misdemeanor domestic violence against his wife at the time. As part of his sentence, he completed a domestic violence batterers program.

▪ On March 20, 1997, Stone withdrew his guilty plea, entered a not-guilty plea and was given a dismissal under California state law. The dismissal was an expungement.

▪ On July 27, 2012, he signed a certification form saying that “under penalty of perjury,” he met minimum requirements for certification under Kansas law. That was around the time he joined the Marion Police Department, records show.

▪ One of the requirements is that the applicant “not have been convicted of … a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence … .”

▪ A conviction means “whether or not expunged,” the order says, with that phrase in bold.

▪ Stone affirmed on the form that he had no misdemeanor domestic violence conviction “despite his conviction,” the order says.

Law enforcement agencies that hire officers are responsible for background checks before an officer gets certified.

According to commission records, Stone was a Butler County sheriff’s deputy from March 2002 to July 2008 and then again from February 2009 to July 2010. He was with the Florence Police Department from July 2010 to July 2012, leaving at the rank of chief. He was a patrol officer with the Marion Police Department since July 2012. The Marion department’s website recently listed him as a K-9 sergeant.

Stone resigned, effective Aug. 5, from the Marion Police Department, said Roger Holter, the Marion city administrator.

In an interview about a month ago, Holter said he couldn’t comment on why Stone left the department because it was a personnel issue.

“We appreciate his many contributions to the citizens of Marion,” Holter said. He said that Stone and his K-9 partner have led officers in Marion County in making arrests and getting convictions. And as a K-9 handler, Stone has spoken to children in schools and in church-related settings, Holter said.