Archive for Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Probe continues into allegations about meetings

October 11, 2000

A meeting is scheduled for later this week on whether two Leavenworth County commissioners have violated the Kansas open meetings law.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent Richard Vick said he planned to meeting Friday with Frank Kohl, Leavenworth County attorney.

"We'll decide where we're going to go from there," Vick said. "We'll just do a general discussion and see where we want to go on it. I don't know what's going to transpire."

In April, Vick and Kohl conducted an inquisition into allegations that Leavenworth County Commissioners Don Navinsky and Bob Adams violated the Kansas Open Meetings Law. However, at the end of April, Vick became ill, and he was away from work for more than four months.

The allegations about open meetings violations against Adams and Navinsky were lodged by fellow commissioner Wayne Eldridge.

It's possible, too, that the KBI investigation could extend into other conduct by commissioners.

Two of the meetings contained in Eldridge's allegations centered on meetings held with Emergency Medical Services employees.

The EMS issue has traveled a long route through the county's legal system.

Kohl's office had charged EMS director Irene Maley and deputy director Charles Conrad with making a false writing, alleging they had submitted time sheets in 1997 that included overtime hours the two had not worked. Those charges were dismissed in June, Kohl said, after his office received additional information in the case.

Basically, the new information provided by the county commission conflicted with earlier information that the county commission had provided, Kohl said. Initially, he said, commissioners had said they had not OK'd the way Maley and Conrad wrote the time sheets.

But later in responding to a civil lawsuit the commission said it had given approval to Maley and Conrad to handle the time sheets as they did, which led to dismissal of the criminal case against Conrad and Maley.

Part of the KBI's probe likely will attempt to resolve the conflicting statements made by the county commission.

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