Reitz’ arrest involved alleged harassment of ex-wife

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    Court documents detail events that led to the October arrest of Russell Reitz, Manhattan oncologist. Four months after a previous arrest, Reitz was arrested on Oct. 9 for violating the terms of a no-contact order.
    Reitz, son of Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, who entered a “not guilty” plea at an arraignment hearing Tuesday, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one count of domestic battery on June 20.
    The no-contact order requested by Assistant Attorney General Barry Disney stated Reitz may have no contact with the complainants, may not go where the complainants live or work, may not telephone the complainants and may not use a third party to contact the complainants.
    Special conditions of the order also included that Reitz not possess firearms and not consume illegal drugs or alcohol for the duration of the order.
    The temporary order has been extended until a final ruling has been determined in his case, according to court documents.
    On Oct. 10, Sen. Reitz told the Collegian he was unaware of his son’s Oct. 9 arrest. Sen. Reitz was named as a witness on a motion of endorsement filed on Sept. 26 by Disney.
    The temporary protective order against Reitz was issued on May 20 after a male complainant requested it. Reitz was served the order two days later, as he had been out of town, according to a police report. On June 24 the petition was amended to include other incidents involving the complainant and witnesses.
    Reitz’s allegedly began harassment in January when the complainant began dating Reitz’s ex-wife. On Jan. 29, Reitz allegedly shouted obscenities and made vulgar, rude comments toward the complainant.
    The amended petition alleged the next incident occurred on Feb. 5, when the male complainant was driving down Anderson Avenue and saw Reitz driving in the opposite direction.
    Reitz passed the complainant and turned around to follow him to Aggieville. The complainant made several attempts to avoid a confrontation by making several turns in the Aggieville business district before pulling over, according to court documents.
    Reitz allegedly pulled up alongside the complainant’s car, rolled down his car window and began shouting obscenities. A Riley County Police officer observed the exchange and spoke briefly to the complainant before pursuing Reitz, according to the petition.
    An alleged third incident occurred on March 23, when the complainant arrived at Reitz’s ex-wife’s house.
    Reitz arrived a few minutes later. Reitz walked past the complainant and forced his ex-wife into her house, leaving the complainant standing outside. When Reitz returned, he allegedly threatened the complainant who left the premises to defuse the situation.
    The complainant had limited contact with Reitz’s ex-wife until she asked him to return to her property to help with yard work on May 17, said an anonymous source closely related to the pending criminal case.
    An arrest warrant for the charges of aggravated battery was not issued for the May 17 incident until June 20. The original bond was set at $20,750. According to court documents, Reitz entered no plea during his arraignment  hearing on July 9.
    At the preliminary hearing on Sept. 26, the court determined there was enough evidence presented to continue with a trial.
    A bond was set for $100,000, which Reitz paid in cash on the day he was arrested and released, according to court documents. Questions have surfaced as to whether Community First National Bank provided money to pay for Reitz’s bond.
    Rob Stitt, the president of the bank said Reitz, the doctor, is a board member at the bank.
    “Board members must be pre-approved at the board meeting in order to secure a loan,” Stitt said.
    He said the board only meets once a month and special sessions are infrequent but are called. Stitt said loans are approved at regular board meetings.
    A trial tentatively is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2009, barring any continuances requested.
    The minimum penalty for a felony other than murder in the State of Kansas is 38 months and the maximum is 172 months, according to Kansas Statute 21-4611,  On the kansas legislature’s Web site, www.kslegislature.org.
    The court uses the severity level of the felony and the criminal history of the person convicted to determine a sentence, according to statute 21-4707. A convicted felon may be considered for parole after 85 percent of the sentence has been served. A parolee must earn the ability to be paroled based on good behavior defined within the correctional facility, according to statutes 22-4302 and 21-4722.
    Along with the possibility of serving a prison sentence, if convicted, Reitz might lose his license to practice medicine within the State of Kansas, according to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts Web site, www.ksbha.org. Examples of prohibited conduct by the board include conviction of a felony or Class A misdemeanor.
    “The board has to be notified in some way that the incident has occurred,” said Jennifer Smith, complaint coordinator for KSBHA. “The main thing: we must be made aware of the situation.”
    Annually on June 30, physicians must renew their licenses. On the renewal application physicians must declare any convictions of felonies or Class A misdemeanors.
    Once a violation or complaint has been brought to the attention of the board, a case is opened and sent to a review board. Each violation is reviewed on an individual basis, Smith said. She said the KSBHA does not have a “cookie-cutter” way to discipline violators.

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