The effort to exonerate Lamonte McIntyre raises questions about whether the KCK police department tolerated a detective’s sexual misconduct

Roger Golubski, a former homicide detective in Kansas City, Kansas, had a reputation for cultivating informants. The department’s current chief, Terry Zeigler, was Golubski’s partner for a time. Zeigler says it was not uncommon for Golubski to call in the middle of the night to discuss a new lead he had developed.

“Roger was very well known in the community,” Zeigler tells The Pitch. “Roger put a lot of people in jail.”

Golubski retired in 2010 at the rank of captain, ending a 35-year career with the KCK police department. He was working as a detective in Edwardsville when, last summer, attorneys filed a motion to exonerate a man convicted of a double murder committed in 1994. Golubski led that investigation, which a former colleague described as “grossly deficient” when asked to look at the evidence by attorneys representing Lamonte McIntyre, the man imprisoned for the crime. Within hours of a shooting that left two men dead in the front seat of a Cadillac, Golubski had identified McIntyre, who was then 17 years old, as the killer.

A motive was never established. No physical evidence linked McIntyre to the crime. Represented by a court-appointed lawyer who was later disbarred, McIntyre was convicted by a jury after a trial that lasted three days. (The Pitch wrote about the case in the August 2, 2016, issue.)

The motion to exonerate McIntyre, who is now 40 and incarcerated at the state prison in Lansing, contains accusations that Golubski pursued sex with women who worked as prostitutes and used drugs. McIntyre’s lawyers obtained affidavits from several witnesses — including a former FBI agent and two former members of the Kansas City, Kansas, police department — who say Golubski used his authority and access to drugs to initiate sex with vulnerable black women. “They were powerless, and Golubski exploited them,” retired FBI agent Al Jennerich, who investigated public corruption in KCK in the 1990s, said in a sworn affidavit.

One of the red flags in the McIntyre investigation is Golubski’s apparent disregard for a witness to the shooting, which took place on a spring afternoon in the predominantly black Quindaro neighborhood. Golubski did not interview Stacy Quinn, who, at a hearing for a new trial in 1996, testified that McIntyre was not the shooter. (The judge in that hearing, who also had presided at McIntyre’s original trial, denied the motion.)

Freda Quinn, Stacy’s aunt, stated in an affidavit in 2016 that Golubski had a sexual relationship with Quinn that began when she was 16. “He took care of her and would buy her clothes and other nice things,” Quinn said. “Stacy did not talk about it, but we all knew it was going on.”

Freda Quinn said the relationship continued until Stacy Quinn’s murder in 2001. Quinn was shot dead in the front yard of a house about a mile from the scene of the crime that led to McIntyre’s incarceration. A man named Marcus Washington was convicted of killing Quinn and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Golubski investigated Quinn’s murder. Freda Quinn got upset when Golubski showed up at her house and asked if she could identify the body. “You know whether or not it’s her,” she told him, according to her affidavit. “You’ve been fooling with her all these years.”

Golubski’s partner on the Quinn case was Chief Zeigler.

“I would tell you that what I knew about Roger was, he was divorced, he had a son that had diabetes, he has a mother and a brother,” Zeigler tells The Pitch.

Later, he adds, “I don’t see anything or know of anything disparaging about Golubski and his dating habits or his relationships.”

The nature of police work creates opportunities for sexual misconduct.

A 2011 International Association of Chiefs of Police report describes some of the conditions conducive to such abuses of power: Law officers have authority over others. They work independently and under the cover of night. They engage with vulnerable populations.

In 2015, the Associated Press reported that 1,000 officers had lost their badges over a six-year period for sex-related offenses and misconduct. But, as the story noted, the number is “unquestionably an undercount” because it represents only officers whose licenses were formally revoked or surrendered. 

Information about police crime is limited to what enters the public record. Philip Stinson, a researcher at Bowling Green State University, uses news reports to collect data on police crime. Analyzing arrests of police officers between 2005 and 2011, Stinson and his colleagues found that sex-related arrests were about as common as alcohol-related arrests. 

Police sexual misconduct routinely goes unreported, according to researchers. Victims may be reluctant to file complaints because they feel humiliated or think they won’t be believed. They also fear retaliation. “I’ve got to assume there are many cases where officers are never discovered, nothing ever happens, and it doesn’t result in charges,” Stinson tells The Pitch.

The Associated Press investigation included state-by-state summaries of license revocations from 2009 through 2014. Of the 143 officers decertified in Kansas, 28 gave up their badges over sex-related misconduct. Missouri’s numbers looked similar: 144 officers, 26 for sex-related misconduct. 

According to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, 19 Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department officers have lost their certifications since 1998. Only one case was sex-related. In 2003, Brian Dupree, a former patrol officer, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery, aggravated assault and attempted aggravated criminal sodomy. Dupree was charged after a janitor complained that Dupree had ordered him into a car, assaulted him and asked for oral sex. Prosecutors said Dupree targeted Latino men who spoke limited English and had uncertain documentation.

The KCK police department has not adopted a policy to address sexual misconduct, a step encouraged in the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police report. Zeigler believes that existing criminal statutes and provisions covering conduct unbecoming an officer are sufficient. “Sexual misconduct is wrong,” he says.

Zeigler says he is confident in the internal affairs unit’s ability to conduct investigations, which are forwarded to the Wyandotte County district attorney’s office. “If we think there’s probable cause that this crime did happen, we always send them to the DA, because we want that third party to look at the case and figure out whether charges should be filed,” he says.

If the district attorney declines to file charges, Zeigler adds, the department may decide to conduct an administrative investigation that results in discipline. The FBI also can investigate police misconduct as a potential civil-rights violation. “There’s a lot of scrutiny on what police officers do, especially when it involves a crime,” Zeigler says.

Zeigler worked in internal affairs for a time when he was a detective. He commanded the unit for two years after being promoted to captain in 2004.

Zeigler says he is not aware of any sexual misconduct complaints against Golubski.

“Had complaints come forward against Golubski and sexual misconduct, I’m telling you, I’m a hundred percent confident that they would have got worked,” he says. “But you’ve got to have someone come forward and make the complaint.”

The only evidence linking Lamonte McIntyre to the murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn, distant cousins who struggled with drugs, was the testimony of two women.

One witness was Niko Quinn, Stacy Quinn’s sister, who later recanted. She has said she felt pressured to identify McIntyre as the killer.

The other witness, Ruby Mitchell, picked McIntyre’s picture out of a photo lineup. In the motion to exonerate, McIntyre’s lawyers describe her testimony as a “confusing hodgepodge”

Golubski arranged the photos that Mitchell looked at on the day of the murders. In 2011, Mitchell stated in an affidavit that Golubski had made sexual advances during the drive to police headquarters. Shaken by the shootings, Mitchell said she felt nervous and vulnerable in Golubski’s presence, unsure if she was going to be arrested for solicitation or offered money for sex. In the end, she said, nothing happened.

The motion to exonerate McIntyre states that Golubski’s “constant, obsessive pursuit of prostitutes was well-known throughout the black community.” One woman who worked in prostitution said in an affidavit that Golubski was known as “a good trick” — he paid and wasn’t abusive. 

In her affidavit, Ruby Ellington, a retired Kansas City, Kansas, police officer, stated that Golubski had a reputation for taking drugs from suspects and trading them for sex. Ellington said Golubski’s activities were well known in the department. She said he was part of the “in” group and “perceived as untouchable.”

Past police chiefs have been asked about Golubski. 

Lawyers working for Max Seifert, a former KCK detective who filed a lawsuit claiming he was retaliated against for not covering up the beating of a citizen by a road-raging federal agent, posed questions about Golubski to former chiefs Ronald Miller and Rick Armstrong in depositions taken in 2012.

Miller, who joined the department in 1972 and served as chief from 2000 to 2006, said Golubski kept a good network of informants that he kept “close to the vest,” a phrase he used multiple times in the deposition.

Miller was asked if he was told of an alleged incident when a fellow officer had found Golubski engaged in a sex act with a witness in his office. “I do not recall ever knowing that before you said it,” he said.

Miller was asked if he was aware of Golubski’s affinity for black women. Miller said he believed Golubski might have been married to a woman who was African-American. Miller was then asked about Golubski’s contact with “people down in the projects, where he was working, females other than his wife.” 

“You hear a lot of things in 34 years, and you also learn things that you never knew before, but there were … I … that … that’s not foreign to me, let’s put it that way,” Miller said. “That’s not foreign to me.”

Armstrong, a department veteran who was chief from 2010 to 2013, said it was common knowledge that Golubski liked African-American women. He said he had not heard that Golubski patronized prostitutes, however, nor had he heard the story that Golubski was discovered having sex in an office.

Armstrong was asked if he had heard that Golubski had fathered children who might be involved with drugs or prostitution. (Ellington, a former colleague, said it was “widely known” that he had.) “I may have heard that he had fathered children,” Armstrong said. But he said did not have any knowledge that Golubski had fathered children with women involved in prostitution or illegal activity. 

In an interview with The Pitch, Miller, who was appointed the U.S. marshal for the state of Kansas in 2015, was asked if the department tolerated Golubski’s alleged sexual misconduct.

“You’d have to take that back one step and say, ‘Did anybody ever complain to the police department about that?’ ” he says. “It may be part of an investigation in a case [the Lamont McIntyre conviction] that has now come to light. But the question would be, ‘Did anyone complain about that at the time?’ I don’t recall that we ever had a formal complaint, that we ever had anything much beyond rumor.”

Miller says he understands that victims of police sexual misconduct may be reluctant to come forward.

“I’m absolutely aware of the victimization angle,” he says. “The question is, if we don’t know about it, then what can be done about it? If you pursue any type of disciplinary or corrective action, what can you prove? That’s the dilemma of any police department.”

In a brief phone interview with The Pitch last July, Golubski said he could not address the allegations in the motion to exonerate McIntyre without knowing more about them. “There’s no misconduct, whatever these allegations are,” he said.

As to the assertion that he had pursued prostitutes, he said, “We adamantly deny that.”

In October, The Kansas City Star published a lengthy report about the effort to exonerate McIntyre. The story included comments from Saundra Newsom, the mother of Doniel Quinn, one of the victims. Even she believes McIntyre is innocent. “You don’t just put a nigger in jail because you found one,” she told the Star. “He belongs to somebody. His mother has a right to justice.”

Golubski retired from law enforcement around the time the Star article was published. Edwardsville Police Chief Mark Mathies told the Star that Golubski handed in his notice on October 6, a few weeks before the Star ran its story.

Golubski’s comments to The Pitch last summer remain his only public comment.

McIntyre, meanwhile, awaits his day in court. The state has not filed a response to the motion for exoneration.

Zeigler was working as a patrol officer when McIntyre was arrested and tried for the murders. He says he did not read the Star’s special report, other than to check his quote. The jury’s decision to convict stands until the court says otherwise.

“Go figure it out,” Zeigler says. “It doesn’t involve me.”