Fire Department Captain Charged in Domestic Case in Wichita, Kansas

The Wichita firefighter who was suspended without pay last week -- after being charged with aggravated battery in a domestic violence case -- is a high-ranking member of the department.

The Eagle determined his name and rank through Sedgwick County District Court records and other sources after Fire Department officials declined to release the information.

Fire Capt. Kenton N. Miller, 47, was charged March 14 after his wife, Danielle Miller, 41, reported to a Sedgwick County sheriff's officer that he beat and attempted to strangle her.

Other court records show that she obtained a temporary protection-from-abuse order against Kenton Miller after he was charged.

He could not be reached for comment; Danielle Miller declined to be quoted for this article.

Wichita Fire Chief Larry Garcia declined to comment Monday on the charges against Miller, who had been one of three captains supervising firefighters at a battalion station, which serves as headquarters for several city fire stations.

Garcia and other officials said it was a personnel matter and no other information would be available.

Garcia said it didn't seem right that Miller is the focus of media attention when many other people get charged with the same crime without being identified by the media.

The incident was first brought to The Eagle's attention Thursday when the Fire Department issued a brief statement that said "a Wichita firefighter was arrested by the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office on an allegation of domestic violence," charged with aggravated battery and suspended because of the felony charge.

The release didn't note that the firefighter had a supervisory role.

Fire Marshal Ed Bricknell, who was listed on the news release as the person to contact for more information, said last week that he would not reveal the firefighter's name, age, rank or length of tenure with the department because it was a criminal investigation and a personnel matter. He also would not discuss any details about the incident leading to the arrest.

Because the charge is a felony, the Fire Department statement said, the firefighter was suspended without pay pending resolution of the case.

City employees are held to a higher standard, and they aim to meet that standard, Bricknell told The Eagle.

City records show Miller's salary is $54,430 and that he was hired in 1979.

Sheriff's officers arrested Miller on March 12 after investigating an allegation by his wife that Miller tried to strangle her at a Valley Center residence, records show.

The suspect, who was not named in the complaint record released to The Eagle, was thought to have been consuming alcohol, the incident report said.

Sheriff's Lt. Mike Oliver said he couldn't comment on the case other than to say that Miller had been held on a $25,000 bond and was released on bond Thursday.

A preliminary hearing for Miller has been scheduled for March 29.