U.S. Postal Service investigators now believe it unlikely any charges will be filed against the mailer of a spurious postcard that tried to link City Commissioner David Schauner to domestic abuse.
Donald Obritsch, a postal inspector in the Kansas City field office, said a multimonth investigation failed to definitively link an individual to the mailing, which occurred just days before the April City Commission election.
"The way we have left it is that if someone has additional information, we're all ears," Obritsch said. "We want to hear about it."
Obritsch said investigators determined the mailer violated postal regulations by not paying approximately $640 in applicable fees. The Postal Service's investigation did not look into the content of the postcard's message.
The postal service has said any legal matters related to whether the allegations defamed Schauner were outside its jurisdiction and most likely would have to be handled through a civil lawsuit.
Schauner, who has vigorously denied the allegations, said Thursday he likely wouldn't pursue the matter further.
"I'm disappointed that they haven't been able to pin the tail on the donkey, so to speak," said Schauner, who narrowly won re-election. "But I'm sure that they have tried."
No one ever took responsibility for the postcard, but a Lawrence printer, shortly after the mailing, said Mike Capra - an area plumber and frequent Schauner critic - unsuccessfully sought to have postcards with similar language printed at her shop. Capra has acknowledged that he was behind a different postcard that criticized Schauner's commitment to children. That postcard did not violate postal rules.
Obritsch said investigators followed several leads but weren't able to create a strong enough link to any individual that would withstand judicial scrutiny.
"My understanding is that there were a couple of suspects," Obritsch said. "There was quite a bit of suspicion."
Obritsch said that people with additional information about the case should contact their local postmaster.