TOPEKA – (KSNT)- Paul Davis released a statement Sunday to Kansas First News regarding a story that appeared in The Coffeyville Journal about his presence 16 years ago in a law enforcement raid on a Coffeyville strip club.
In a story initially reported by the Coffeyville Journal, a series of documents obtained under the Kansas Open Records Act placed Davis at a venue called Secrets in August 1998.
According to the Coffeyville Journal, at the time, Davis, a single 26-year-old attorney not yet elected to public office, was briefly detained with others inside the club by officers of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. Davis wasn’t accused of wrongdoing, but the raid resulted in arrest of nightclub owner Marvin Jones in connection with trafficking methamphetamine.
“I was taken to a club by my boss — the club owner was one of our legal clients,” Davis said in his statement to Kansas First News. “While we were in the building, the police showed up. I was never accused of having done anything wrong, but rather I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The Brownback campaign declined to provide a comment to Kansas First News, but an official with the Kansas Republican Party condemned Davis.
“Davis’ behavior, whatever he was doing to or with that woman in the ‘VIP room’ while his client was dealing meth in the bar, demonstrates a total lack of judgment and is the kind of behavior that Kansans will find totally unacceptable in someone who wants to be governor,” said Clay Barker, the party’s executive director in a statement to Kansas First News.
The Coffeyville Journal said that police documents containing narratives of the raid indicated Davis had been found by an officer in a back room with a topless woman. Both were ordered to the floor while officers secured the building. Davis, according to the reports, told the officer he was an attorney for the club’s owner.
The Coffeyville Journal said Davis had apparently traveled to the southeast Kansas club in 1998 with a law firm colleague James Chappell.
The Davis campaign released a statement to Kansas First News from Independence Police Chief Harry Smith, who helped lead the raid at Coffeyville. He said Davis had been “questioned briefly and released.”
“At the time of my encounter with Paul, he was totally cooperative and was not involved in any wrong doing,” Smith said. “Paul was only one of 20 or more people present in the club when the raid was conducted.”
Davis also accused the Brownback campaign of raising public awareness of the 1998 episode to distract voters in his statement.
“I’m not at all surprised Sam Brownback and his allies are digging up all they can to distract Kansans from the fact they remain down in the polls,” Davis said. “Kansans deserve better than a desperate smear campaign.”