I'll admit to having read this article fairly quickly, so I may be wrong about this. However, it seems as if the Kansas City Star's story today on Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline's firing of his top staff does as much to disprove its point as it does to prove it.
The headline and lead argue that what Kline did on his first day in office wasn't all that unusual, even though Kline's actions led his former employees to file a lawsuit against him. The story then goes on to say that, well, that yes the firings were out of the ordinary.
But administrators and attorneys in Kansas’ six largest counties — the only ones that have district attorneys — said the transition in Johnson County was unusual for the number of people who lost their jobs. They also said they thought the lawsuit that the eight employees filed against District Attorney Phill Kline was the first to directly challenge the extent of a district attorney’s power.
The article notes "significant turnover" in two other counties, but then declares that the employees in those cases weren't covered by counties' grievance procedures. However, the point the Johnson County "firees" are arguing is that they were covered by their county's grievance procedures and should not have been fired in the way Kline did.
I'm not certain that anyone has argued that a political leader can't fire people when he or she takes over a new office. The issue in Johnson County, though, is how it was done.And why do I care about Johnson County? Aside from the fact that this is a key suburban Kansas City county, I like to watch Kline, the recently ousted Kansas attorney general and darling of the religious right.