County personnel investigation stalls

Two commissioners refuse to go into closed meeting

WICHITA, Kan - A disagreement between Sedgwick County commissioners has stalled a planned investigation into personnel issues.  

The commission decided in a 3-2 vote last week to hire an outside counsel to look into personnel issues.  Commission chairman David Dennis said he and commissioner Richard Ranzau were to meet with the counsel this week to talk about the scope of the investigation, but Ranzau declined to attend the meeting. 

Commissioners planned to go into a closed executive session to discuss the investigation on Wednesday, but Dennis said Ranzau and commissioner Jim Howell indicated they would not participate.  That leaves the commission without a quorum for the meeting and Dennis said the process can't move forward.  Dennis then adjourned the meeting, but Ranzau said he wanted to make a statement, and he said he would not participate in this "scheme" to hire outside counsel.  Ranzau called "an attempt to cover up commissioner misconduct that could be criminal in nature." 

With that statement, the meeting ended and it's not clear if the investigation will continue.  No details have been released on the reasons for the investigation, and Dennis told KFDI News last week that it's a personnel issue.


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