Investigators: Emails to Dodge City mayor weren't threats

Investigators: Emails to Dodge City mayor weren't threats


DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Several investigators have concluded that angry emails about mask requirements that prompted a Kansas mayor to resign did not directly threaten her safety.

Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw resigned Tuesday. She said she did not feel safe continuing in the role because of threatening communications she received after she was quoted in a USA Today article supporting the city's mask mandate in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dodge City investigators, the city prosecutor and the Ford County prosecutor reviewed three emails sent to Warshaw before concluding they were not threats against her.

The emails had only summary lines with the messages, “You and your city council should be tried for murder;” “History will scorn you;” and “There is a good chance you and your commissioners will burn in hell,” according to a summary of the investigation released Wednesday.

“No specific, direct, or implied threat was directed at Mayor Warshaw. The text contained in the subject lines were more in line with an individual’s opinion rather than a threat,” detective Sgt. James Thompson wrote in the summary.

City prosecutor Mark Cowell and Ford County Attorney Kevin Salzman agreed with that opinion.

Salzman said there were no threats directly implying an act to commit violence, such as “You’ll get yours” or “watch your back.”

Investigators determined the emails were sent by a John Brawner from Kentucky, The Dodge City Daily Globe reported.

Thompson said Brawner acknowledged sending the emails after he “had a few beers” and read the article about Dodge City's COVID-19 infections. He said he had underlying health conditions and was frustrated people were not wearing masks.

Brawner also said he felt the city commission should have...

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