KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV)
A new letter from law enforcement across Kansas City, KS reveals hard feelings that had developed between the local prosecutor who wants to review old convictions and the city’s police chief.
Police Chief Terry Zeigler and the Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash question a new plan to review old convictions.
District Attorney Mark Dupree says he’s concerned innocent people may be sitting in jail. He’s combed through 200 cases and says he’s found 19 that could be a manifest of justice.
“We need to release those who are innocent who did no crime,” said Dupree a few weeks ago.
The district attorney has been more public about his desire to review old cases in light of the Lamonte McIntrye case. He wants to form a convictions integrity unit with a price tag of around $300,000.
Lamonte McIntyre case
Dupree points to the McIntyre case. McIntrye spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit. His legal team says his case highlights serious concerns about local law enforcement.
A nationwide innocence investigator with 40 years of experience told a judge the McIntyre case was the most troubling case he has ever worked on and that the KCK detective who worked the case is the most corrupt cop he has ever crossed.
Detective Roger Golubski eventually became a police captain and was involved in dozens if not hundreds of cases during his time inside the Kansas City, KS Police Department. He’s now retired.
He’s accused of sexually extorting women and shaking down drug dealers for their cash and drugs. McIntrye’s legal team says he botched the murder case to punish McIntyre’s mother for not playing his game.
Golubski has the focus of numerous KCTV5 investigations because the allegations against him are so troubling. A former KCK police chaplain told our unit he quit his job disgusted with Golubski’s behavior.
Court documents reveal Golubski was investigated by the FBI and members of his own department question his behavior. Women signed sworn affidavits saying Golubski offered women a choice fo sex or jail and they felt they had no choice.
Golubski has never faced any criminal charges. He has never publicly commented on the allegations and refuses to speak with our investigative department.
Innocence Project responds
“You can’t look at Lamonte’s case and not understand that there is an entire system that allowed this to happen. Lamonte was one small piece of a very big problem,” said Tricia Bushnell with the Midwest Innocence Project.
Bushnell says a new letter by law enforcement questioning the need for such a unit should draw red flags.
“If it’s something before you got there you should say we want to fix it. If was done while you were there you should be able to stand behind it and say- here take a look. The fact that no one wants anyone to look at all is deeply troubling. What is it they think will be found?” questions Bushnell.
Law enforcement raises concerns
Zeigler takes no stance on the McIntyre case but says the district attorney’s decision to drop charges and release McIntyre instead of defending the case and the victim is troubling.
He’s concerned the district attorney’s plan to review other cases with unchecked power is a dangerous path. He also made it clear he’s concerned the district attorney may focus on members of his department.
“The impression our officers have is that there could be criminal charges against officers that’s the impression we’ve gotten,” said Zeigler. “We are concerned. We are concerned anytime processes and laws aren’t followed it causes concern.”
Zeigler worked directly with Golubski in the past but denies being aware of any troubling behavior. He now admits he’s directly at odds with the district attorney who prosecutes the cases his police department investigate.
“Yeah there is a break down. There is a break down in how this process should work. But he went and solicited $300,000 for a Convictions Integrity Unit and there is a lot of needs in this community that could use $300,000,” said Zeigler.
Zeigler, the Wyandotte County sheriff and members of the Fraternal Order of Police say they support the release of innocent people but the question the process being discussed. They also point out digging into old cases and releasing people has an economic impact now that compensation is in place.
McIntyre and other people release from prison can ask a court for compensation. McIntyre spent more than 23 years in prison and is eligible for more than a million dollars.
Charges in McIntyre case unclear
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has been reviewing the McIntyre case. They have had the case file for five months. A spokesperson tells KCTV5’s investigative unit that the file is so large and spans so many years it will take time to review and there is no set timetable for a decision.
McIntyre’s legal team criticized both police and prosecutors for his botched conviction. But it is unclear if anyone will be held accountable. Prosecutors have immunity. Police officers do not. But, statutes of limitations could prevent any criminal charges in a case that’s more than 20 years old.
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