TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A month after his arrest, Topeka’s district two councilman has resigned from office. John Campos made the announcement at 5 pm, the same time it became effective. 201405091651
Campos said his resignation Friday comes as part of his diversion agreement with Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor. Campos was charged with two felonies. At a press conference Friday evening, Campos told members of the media that he didn’t have money for an attorney to fight the attempt to oust him from office.
“Through a gentleman’s agreement with District Attorney Chad Taylor and his office, I will be resigning from the city council as the 2nd representative of Topeka effective at 5 pm today,” Campos told the media out front of city hall.
Campos made the announcement just minutes after filing his resignation with the clerk’s office at 5 minutes to 5.
“There are many great improvements happening in District 2, and i do not want to overshadow the momentum going forward,” Campos said in prepared remarks.
He referenced recent allegations against him but did not speak to them specifically. Campos was charged with two felonies: one for doctoring insurance paperwork get out of a traffic citation, and a second for destroying evidence. We asked him point blank if he is guilty.
“That is a matter of diversion which I will not bring forth that information,” Campos said evasively. “I do honor the mistakes I’ve made, and I do apologize for them.”
Campos said it saddens him to have to step down. He admitted that the mistakes he made were his own, and his alone. He had this message for Topekans.
“I do apologize to the citizens of Topeka for any embarrassment or negative attention I may have brought to our city.”
Despite his mistakes the former councilman says he believes he’s been a good representative. He thanked members of the council and Mayor Larry Wolgast for his time working alongside them these past 13 months.
“This was the best course for me personally, and this was the best course for my district and my constituents,” Campos said at the end.
Campos said he didn’t have the money to pay an attorney to fight the D.A.’s effort to remove him from office. He inferred that he might not have resigned had he not been forced to do so. He said it’s too early to consider if he will run for public office in the future. Campos highlighted what he felt were his achievements in office. He said he would continue to be active in the community.
D.A. Chad Taylor had no comment Friday night on the diversion or Campos’ resignation. The city will release information next week for filling the district two council seat.
Residents we talked to in District 2 voiced support for Campos. One woman told us that it’s his personal decision to resign, although it’s disappointing for those like her who voted for him. Another woman told us, “If he’s guilty, he’s guilty.” However, she said that his situation may not have risen to the level of resigning.
Here’s the timeline of what took place in his case:
On March 31st Campos was pulled over for speeding and driving without insurance. Days later he’s accused of going to the city with a doctored proof of insurance to get the citation dismissed. Late last month the district attorney filed to have him removed from office. That same night he was arrested and booked on two felonies. He was released a few hours later. Then, earlier this week he entered a diversion request before resigning Friday.
Campos recently came under fire by his council colleagues for his efforts to clean up a house in his home district in the Oakland Neighborhood.