Brownback issues first pardon over 1994 theft case

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback answers a question from a reporter during a news conference, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, at the Statehouse in Topeka.  (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued his first pardon in almost seven years in office to a man convicted of felony theft as a college student in 1994.

Brownback’s office announced the pardon Tuesday for Mark Schmitt of Parker, Colorado. Schmitt is a Liberal native convicted of felony theft while living as a college student in Ottawa.

The governor’s office said the charge arose from a false insurance claim for $1,552. It said Schmitt completed probation, paid restitution and had his record expunged.

Brownback said in a statement that Schmitt has proven since to be “a man of character.”

Brownback’s office said Schmitt applied for a pardon from former Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson but the paperwork was lost. Brownback succeeded Parkinson in January 2011.

Brownback denied 72 other clemency applications.

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