Richard D. Cullen
Two former employees of the City of Parkville
face criminal charges resulting from separate
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said his
office filed a felony complaint Friday against
Richard D. Cullen, 36, of Kansas City, for acceding
to corruption. The complaint alleges Cullen, a
former Parkville police officer, required a woman
he had stopped for speeding to remove her clothes
so she would not be issued a traffic citation.
Zahnd also said his office charged Louella R.
Smith, 43, of Kansas City, on Thursday with felony
stealing. The charges against Smith allege that
she stole more than $100,000 from Parkville over
a three-year period when she served as the citys
municipal court administrator.
Zahnd said the charges were made possible because
of the swift action of Parkville officials when
they became aware of the illegal conduct.
The first reaction in some cities when
confronted with wrongdoing by an employee might
be to sweep things under the rug, he said.
But Parkville did exactly the opposite.
The mayor, police chief, and other officials took
immediate action to remove the employees from
their positions and requested outside agencies
to conduct thorough investigations to uncover
According to court documents filed in the case
Cullen was a Parkville police officer on June
9, 2004, when he stopped a 20-year-old woman in
the early morning hours for speeding on Highway
45 in Parkville.
Cullen then asked the woman to follow him in
her car to 8600 NW 45 Highway. Once there, the
woman says Cullen required her to raise her shirt
and bra, exposing her breasts. Cullen then had
the woman disrobe from the waist down and had
her bend over. Cullen allowed her to get dressed
and leave the scene without writing her a traffic
The woman reported the incident, and Parkville
Police Chief William Hudson asked the Platte County
Sheriffs Department to investigate the incident.
Cullen resigned from the police force on June
The Platte County Circuit Court issued a warrant
for Cullens arrest on Friday and set bond
According to documents filed in the case against
On December 19, 2003, Parkville Municipal Judge
Sandra Ferguson reported to the Parkville Police
Department that funds appeared to be missing from
the municipal courts office. Ferguson indicated
that a deposit containing only checks and money
ordersbut missing cashhad been found.
Smith was immediately suspended pending a review
of the court records, first with pay and later
Hudson asked the Kansas City, Police Department
financial investigations section to conduct an
investigation. Their investigation revealed that
from March 2001 to December 2003 about $101,270
was missing from court deposits. The investigation
indicates more than $12,000 was stolen in 2001,
more than $31,000 in 2002 and more than $57,000
Smiths first court appearance is set for
Zahnd said, With the full cooperation of
the City of Parkville, independent investigations
revealed wrongdoing by two city employees. In
the rare instances where public employees abuse
their positions to take advantage of the people
they serve, we must take quick and decisive action.
Fortunately, in these cases, Parkville officials
did just that. It is never a good day when charges
must be filed against police and court officials,
but the public can rest assured that when public
employees do wrong, they will be called to account
for their actions.
If convicted, Cullen faces a maximum of four
years in prison. Smith faces a maximum of seven
years in prison if she is convicted.