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Leavenworth County deputy accused of lying about relationship with inmate loses license

A former Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office deputy lost her police license after she was accused of lying about continuing a romantic relationship with a person in jail, state records show.

Ashlyn Gardner worked for the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office from March 2022 to February 2023.

In an interview with the Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the Kansas agency that issues and revokes police licenses, Gardner admitted she had lied to Leavenworth County during their internal investigation into her conduct, CPOST documents said.

According to the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office, Gardner had a romantic relationship with someone who has experienced drug addiction and had a history of incarceration. In November 2022, The sheriff’s office was dispatched to investigate allegations of domestic battery Gardner had made against this person. At that time, investigation documents show, Gardner also reported that he stole her police-issued firearm.

After investigating, the Leavenworth County sheriff’s office informed Gardner that she could not continue working if she continued to engage in the relationship. At that time, Garner agreed to end the relationship.

But between Feb. 10 and 17, Leavenworth County sheriff’s officials said Gardner answered 38 calls from that individual, who was incarcerated at the time of the calls. According to CPOST, the phone calls included conversations about his being in custody, drug use, admissions of battery against Garner in November 2022, and past and future sexual encounters.

According to Leavenworth County sheriff’s officials, the two also discussed Gardner’s police work and using a burner phone while the individual was housed in the Leavenworth County Jail, to keep Gardner from getting in trouble with Leavenworth County. The incarcerated individual referenced Gardner “going to a friend’s house to get him special cigarettes,” the sheriff’s office said.

When the Leavenworth County sheriff’s office presented the evidence of these recorded calls, she denied the ongoing relationship.

Leavenworth County fired Gardner after she made multiple untruthful and deceptive statements during a February investigation into her conduct, CPOST records show.

CPOST revoked her police license in November.