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District attorney: Departing city councilman Jonathan Schumm, wife approved for diversion agreements


Jonathan Schumm's resignation effective at noon Wednesday

By Steve Fry


Former Topeka Councilman Jonathan Schumm and his wife, Allison Schumm, have been approved for diversions tied to criminal charges alleging aggravated battery of their 12-year-old son, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor said Wednesday.

Near the end of the weekly council meeting Tuesday night, Jonathan Schumm, who has faced multiple criminal charges, announced his intention to resign.

Effective noon Wednesday, Schumm said at the council meeting, he would leave office in order to best serve his family’s needs and to honor an agreement he reached with the district attorney’s office.

The husband and wife submitted applications seeking diversion in their cases, and “they’ve both been approved,” Taylor said. Paperwork for the two must now be processed.

Taylor declined Wednesday to detail the conditions of the Schumms’ diversion agreements.

In a diversion, a defendant, who usually must be a first-time offender, applies to the district attorney’s office to enter a program in which he or she agrees to complete a series of requirements.

If a defendant agrees to the terms and successfully completes the requirements, the charge or charges will be dismissed, and the defendant won’t have a conviction on his or her record.

If the defendant violates a condition of diversion, prosecution of that defendant will resume.

On Nov. 19, the district attorney’s office charged Jonathan Schumm, 34, and his wife, Allison Nicole Schumm, 33, with one count each of aggravated battery and, as an alternative, abuse of a child (torture or cruelly beating a child younger than 18), which is alleged to have occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 11.

Taylor additionally charged the Schumms with four counts of endangering a child, which is alleged to have occurred Oct. 31. Allison Schumm was charged with aiding her husband.

Five days after the criminal charges were filed, the district attorney’s office filed a civil action against Jonathan Schumm seeking to oust him from office based on the violence in the criminal charges.

In Jonathan Schumm’s answers to a petition seeking his ouster, Schumm denied repeatedly striking his 12-year-old son with a belt, lacerating an eye and hand, then choking him with his hands and threatening to kill him. Schumm also denied committing aggravated battery or abuse of a child.

He characterized the ouster action filed against him as “an accusation that he was overly zealous in disciplining his children.”

On Jan. 8, the district attorney’s office filed a motion to temporarily dismiss the ouster proceeding. The district attorney’s office said the primary purpose in seeking the dismissal “relates to the stability of the defendant’s children and the desire to proceed in an orderly fashion in prosecuting our claims against the defendant while causing the least amount of harm and disruption to his children.”

The district attorney’s office in seeking the ouster contended that abuse of a child is a crime of moral turpitude, which would disqualify Schumm from serving as city councilman.

The Schumms had 17 children ranging from 1 year old to 20 years old, five of whom were biological, two in foster care and 10 adopted.

Steve Fry can be reached at (785) 295-1206 or steve.fry@cjonline.com.
Follow Steve on Twitter @@TCJCourtsNCrime.

2016 Apr 20