Sedgwick County Commissioner O’Donnell Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges


On May 5, Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell was charged with twelve counts of federal fraud and money laundering; five counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud, and two counts of money laundering. The charges cover $10,500 from accounts set up for O’Donnell’s campaign for the county commissioner seat in 2016.

Fellow Commissioner Richard Ranzu had called for O’Donnell to resign his position in lew of the charges, saying that the situation does not surprise him.

O’Donnell attended the Sedgwick County Commission meeting in the morning of and later visited the federal courthouse in Wichita, where he entered a plea of not guilty, on Wednesday, May 9. The commissioner has yet to comment on the charges against him.

O’Donnell is no stranger to facing damaging accusations. In the 2007 Wichita City Council election, a complaint stating O’Donnell didn’t live in the right district took him out of the race. He later won the 4th District City Council Seat in 2011 but admitted to using the city email address for invitations to a political fundraiser. In 2012, O’Donnell took up a Kansas State Senate seat where he was under investigation for allegedly providing alcohol to minors. Lack of evidence later caused the case to be dropped.

If found guilty of the twelve counts, O’Donnell could face up the following penalties:

  • Wire Fraud – Up to 20 Years in Federal Prison with an up to $250,000 fine
  • Bank Fraud – Up to 30 Years with an up to $1,000,000 fine
  • Money Laundering – Up to 20 Years with an up to $500,000 fine.

The federal jury trial is scheduled to begin on July 10 in Wichita, Kansas.

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