Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

State legislator cites her position during traffic stops in attempts to avoid being ticketed

April 6, 2011


— A state legislator from Wichita stopped for speeding has tried at least three times to use her position to get out of traffic tickets, videos of the encounters show.

During one stop in January 2010, Oletha Faust-Goudeau asked a state trooper not to ticket her for speeding, at one point saying, “I’m asking you as a state senator,” The Wichita Eagle reported Wednesday.

The nearly 18-minute recording of the exchange between the legislator and state Trooper Beau Wallace was captured by the trooper’s in-car camera and his belt microphone and was obtained by the newspaper through an open records request.

After the trooper told her he was citing her for driving 84 mph in a 70 mph zone, Faust-Goudeau, who is black, asked the trooper if the stop was racial profiling. The trooper replied, “No, ma’am.”

Faust-Goudeau said in a statement Tuesday that it is within the discretion of a police officer whether to issue a ticket or warning.

“I never intended to use my position to influence the decision made by the officer,” she said.

The newspaper also reported last month on two other traffic stops for speeding, in February 2011 and October 2009. Those videos showed the lawmaker was not given a ticket after identifying herself as a state senator and telling officers that she knew the Wichita police chief and other Wichita city officials.

Court records show Faust-Goudeau pleaded no contest and paid a $140 fine for the 2010 turnpike traffic stop.

In the video, the trooper told her she clocked her going 84 mph in a 70 mph zone near the service area north of Emporia. She said she couldn’t have reached that speed.

After he asked for her driver’s information, she told him early in the stop, “I’m a state senator, and I just left Topeka, and let me find everything that you need, honey.”

She also told the trooper that she had just left the Legislature and that she had just been with Gov. Mark Parkinson.

Later, after Wallace explained how he checked her speed, she said, “I’m asking you this: If you would just give me a warning today. Um, I’m asking you as a state senator.”

Then she asked for immunity because it was during the legislative session.

The trooper replied, “I can’t delay you, but you’re not immune to getting a citation for speeding.”

She tried again later to avoid a ticket, showing the trooper a Wichita Police Department “challenge coin” and saying, “So the chief of police has given me that. You’re going to override that and not have mercy on me at all,” she said, laughing.

This marked the second time she was recorded while trying to use a challenge coin during a traffic stop.

During the October 2009 stop, she had also shown a Wichita police officer a Wichita police challenge coin and said that Police Chief Norman Williams gave it to her and told her to “use it” if she had to.

Williams has said he gave Faust-Goudeau a police challenge coin several years ago, but that as with other people, he gave the coin only as a goodwill gesture, not as a get-out-of-trouble pass.


Jim Phillips 7 years, 1 month ago

As long as you have your challenge coin, it doesn't matter.

BitterClinger 7 years, 1 month ago

Sorry seeker-of-truth but she's a Democrat which is most likely why it wasn't stated in the article. You can bet that if it WAS a Republican it would have been BIG news!

That's also probably why the race card was played as quickly as it was.

WilburNether 7 years, 1 month ago

Why do you think she's a Republican? Because you are (a) ignorant, (b) bigoted, and (c) despite your handle, you wouldn't know the truth if it bit your nose. She is, in fact, a very liberal Democrat.

myvotecounts 7 years, 1 month ago

The KHP video can be viewed here.

The article got the quotes right, but the video really shows how she used every bit of leverage she could think of, including mentioning that she makes the laws he's enforcing, and the fact that she'll be meeting with the governor and head of transportation when she returns to Topeka.

Two other bits of irony: She is the ranking minority member on the Senate Ethics Committee and she voted against raising the speed limit to 75.

question4u 7 years, 1 month ago

Kansas politicians seem to be doing their best to make themselves reprehensible this session. Why can't Faust-Goudeau own up to her wrong behavior and apologize? No doubt she expected an apology from Virgil Peck for his stupid behavior recently. Granted, trying to use your position as a elected official to put yourself above the law over a speeding ticket isn't quite the same thing as advocating genocide on the floor of the Kansas House, but Faust-Goudeau's actions seem to suggest that if Kansas Republicans have dominated the spotlight for disgusting behavior lately that may be due at least in part to the fact that there are fewer Kansas Democrats in office right now. Why not regain some integrity Senator Faust-Goudeau? Admit the wrong and apologize to the people you are supposed to be representing.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

This is wrong, plain and simple.

And, she is a Democratic senator.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 1 month ago

She should be removed from the Ethics Committee, and then brought before that same committee.

seriouscat 7 years, 1 month ago

A true American! It's all about using power and influence to break and skirt the law. Laws and morality are only for the hoi polloi, doncha know.

BigDog 7 years, 1 month ago

Man .... next time I am in Wichita I need to get me one of those challenge coins. They must be like a get out of jail free card.

Come on Senator .... the people you represent expect better of you. It is not the speeding ticket part .... we all get those occasionally but the "I am a state senator and I shouldn't get a ticket crap"

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