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Sedgwick County Commissioner defends payments in fraud trial

A former Kansas legislator accused of fraudulently taking $10,500 from campaign funds for his personal use has told jurors it is offensive and outrageous to him that anybody would assume he would steal money.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell took the stand Thursday to defend himself in his federal trial on 23 counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering related to his state and county campaigns.

O’Donnell, a Republican, testified he is not rich, but he would never steal money.

He detailed for hours on the stand his payments to staffers and other supporters that the defense portrayed as legitimate campaign expenses.  He said his senate campaign owes him $3,400 for unreimbursed mileage that he could pay himself from the campaign funds.

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