David Morrison, Prairie Village Councilman, rousted from office by Johnson County judge
A Johnson County District Court Judge bounced David Morrison out of his Prairie Village City Council seat last Friday after declaring that he acted recklessly by letting a drug addict have access to City Hall.
Judge David Hauber’s decision was expected after a Johnson County jury found that Morrison had neglected his public duty. Hauber wasn’t bound by the jury’s decision, but agreed that the evidence against Morrison was substantial and enough to remove him from office three years before the councilman’s third term was due to expire.
Morrison found himself on the hot seat when city officials discovered he had given an old pal of his, Kelley Malone, his access code to stay at Prairie Village City Hall. Malone had battled drug problems for years, culminating at one point in a felony drug conviction.
Malone, by some accounts, was a successful car salesman until he was involved in a motorcycle accident and got hooked on painkillers. That led to Oxcycontin, heroin and meth use later on, according to court records.
Malone and Morrison had been friends since the mid-90s. The two become reacquainted in October 2012 when Malone placed a call to Morrison, telling the councilman that he was homeless, had nowhere to go and needed a place to stay.
Morrison called a Prairie Village dispatcher to see about what help the city could offer, but was told that Prairie Village police officers typically took the homeless to City Union Mission in Kansas City at 10th Street and Troost Avenue.
Malone wasn’t keen on going to the shelter, telling Morrison that he would be “the only white person down there,” according to testimony from the trial.
Morrison, who lived with his elderly parents, concluded that the only place Malone could stay was City Hall because he didn’t want to risk having his parents falling ill from being in the presence of a homeless man with a drug history. Malone had Morrison’s access code to City Hall and was found to come and go several times in October 2012 until Prairie Village Police Chief Wes Jordan found him there.
Judge Hauber found the juxtaposition of Morrison not wanting Malone around his parents but evidently seeing no issue with his friend being around City Hall employees galling. Hauber wrote that Malone appeared in court with a nose that dripped constantly.
“Whether that reflects the destruction evident from him sniffing heroin, cocaine or any other drug is irrelevant,” Hauber wrote. “It demonstrates the deterioration of Mr. Malone’s health and questions raised by exposing him to others who had no idea of his background. They were not given the choice to know whether Nr. Malone represented a threat to their health, much less whether his story of being a target for drug gangs could expose them to harm while Mr. Malone was coming or going from City Hall.”
With Morrison gone from office, it’s up to Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer to appoint someone to fill his seat.