After arrest, Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel loses seat on alma mater’s board of trustees

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Jonathan Shorman
·2 min read
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Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel has lost his seat on the Missouri Valley College board of trustees following his arrest last week after he was alleged to have kneed a student in the crotch.

It’s one of the first professional consequences Samsel has faced from videos showing the 36-year-old lawmaker talking to students about God, sex, suicide and giving them permission to kick another student “in the balls” while substitute teaching at Wellsville secondary school last Wednesday.

“We are aware of the situation involving Mark Samsel. On April 30, 2021, Mr. Samsel was asked to resign from the Missouri Valley College Board of Trustees,” Missouri Valley College, or MVC, said in an unsigned statement on Tuesday.

Samsel, a Wellsville Republican, graduated from the private liberal arts college in Marshall in 2007 with a degree in business administration and political science.

Board of trustee minutes showed Samsel regularly showed up to meetings, even as the pandemic moved gatherings online. He was on the board’s governance and student affairs committees.

Samsel waved off a Star reporter who approached him as he walked toward the House floor on Tuesday. He hasn’t commented publicly since Sunday, when he posted a lengthy statement to his legislative Facebook page saying he “didn’t do anything wrong” The page disappeared later that day.

House Republicans haven’t moved to discipline Samsel, who delivered a crucial vote Monday to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a GOP-backed tax bill. House Speaker Ron Ryckman, an Olathe Republican, has said that once law enforcement gets to the “bottom of things,” the House has a process in place to address a legislator’s conduct.

Samsel’s first court appearance isn’t until May 19 and he has yet to be formally charged after being arrested Thursday on allegations of battery. He was released on a $1,000 bond.

Wellsville USD 289 Superintendent Ryan Bradbury has previously said Samsel won’t be allowed to substitute teach in the district again.

Samsel’s substitute teaching license will expire in June. The Kansas State Department of Education won’t say whether it plans to take action against his license or non-renew it.

The Star’s Katie Bernard contributed reporting