A family in rural Kansas said that Jim Brownback — brother of Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) — has routinely harassed them in recent years, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Jim Brownback has been accused of repeatedly lingering and, at times, shooting firearms outside the home of Joann and Robert Peine, who have three children, near Parker, Kansas. The Peines said they reported the incidents to law enforcement — and The Capital-Journal also relied on reviewed court records, law enforcement reports and other documents for the investigation. But Joann Peine and others suggest that police have turned a blind eye towards Jim Brownback’s alleged harassment due to his brother’s political stature in the state.
According to The Capital-Journal investigation, the strife between Jim Brownback and Peines began when the Peines euthanized a Brownback relative’s dog, which the Peines said attacked their hogs. The Peines and other neighbors recalled a series of episodes in which they said Jim Brownback and his relatives trespassed on their property, shot firearms at the Peines home and publicly threatened members of the Peine family.
While confirming some aspects of the Peines’ account, Jim Brownback said he didn’t break the law and told The Capital-Journal that he and his family were targets for those sorts of accusations because of his brother.
Through a spokeswoman, Gov. Brownback declined to be interviewed for the story.
Local law enforcement denied it had given Jim Brownback any special treatment because of his brother and said officers had investigated accusations made against him. (Evidence from one such investigation, a months-long lab analysis of shotgun casings found outside the Peine home, was “lost,” according to the Capital-Journal.)
“He hasn’t crossed the line, but I guess he walks on it,” Linn County Sheriff Paul Filla said of Jim Brownback.