Valley Center Police Chief resigns

Mark Hephner (Courtesy Valley Center Police Dept.)

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – According to Valley Center City Administer Scott Hildebrand, the Valley Center police chief has resigned.

Hephner’s resignation comes almost a week after Valley Center Police Sgt. Thomas Delgado was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, including rape, sexual exploitation of a child, sexual battery and official misconduct.

Hildebrand’s confirmation of Hephner’s resignation came in an email to KSN in which he said the police chief resigned on Wednesday, December 14.

Before joining the Valley Center Police Department, Delgado served as a deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

Delgado has yet to appear in court to face his arrest charges.

Valley Center Mayor Laurie Dove said the decision to resign was made by Chief Hephner himself after some “soul-searching.” She said Hephner felt somewhat responsible because Delgado was part of his department.

Hephner said his office did a background check on Delgado, but because no criminal charges were filed nothing showed up.

“I am so unhappy with the way this has come to light,” said Dove. “I am the kind of mayor who wants to know whats happening on every level with every department so we can better serve our citizens who we’re responsible to, and we didn’t do that.”

Hephner’s resignation is effective immediately.