Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Basehor mayor backs write-in

March 28, 2001

Basehor Mayor John Pfannenstiel, found guilty last week of having sex with prison inmates, believes his political career is over at least for awhile.

So he's hoping to hand-pick his successor.

Pfannenstiel is in a re-election battle with former mayor Bill Hooker.

"I don't think for a moment, having been found guilty, that I could get re-elected," Pfannenstiel said. "But I do think that the majority of the citizens of Basehor think I have done a good job as mayor."

So he's hopeful his supporters throw their votes to mayoral write-in candidate Chris Garcia, who presently is president of the Basehor City Council.

Following a weeklong trial, a 10-man, two-woman jury found Pfannenstiel guilty of three felony counts of having sexual with inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility, where he had worked until last summer.

Pfannenstiel was acquitted of bringing contraband into the prison.

A post-trial hearing is set for next Wednesday. At that time, Pfannenstiel said, his attorney will ask that the jury's verdict be set aside.

If the trial judge does not grant that motion, Pfannenstiel said, his attorney plans to pursue an appeal in the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Pfannenstiel faces a minimum of five months and a maximum of 21 months in prison on each of the three counts.

Because law prohibits a convicted felon from holding office, Pfannenstiel launched the write-in campaign for Garcia.

"He and I have a similar philosophy about what we're trying to accomplish in Basehor," Pfannenstiel said.

Pfannenstiel's term expires April 16.

He said he was shocked by Friday's verdict.

"I think everybody in the room was surprised," Pfannenstiel said. "The feedback we're getting, from the people who sat through the trial, who are not my supporters, came away saying 'not guilty.'"

Commenting has been disabled for this item.