Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kansas: The Johnson County 8 finally get their hearings, but Phill Kline refuses to participate

By Diane Silver

Integrity. Compassion. Accountability.

Those are just a few of the concepts current Johnson County District Attorney and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline seem to have missed in his all-religion, all-the-time approach to public service.

Case in point: The grievance hearings now being conducted for the eight staffers he fired within hours of being sworn in as the new DA in the suburban Kansas City County. Guess who isn't there? Why, ole' Phill himself.


The Truth Hurts said...

Here's a clue for you:

Phill Kline isn't there because, while the "JoCo 8" might hate him personally, their real legal beef is with Johnson County's personnel policy.

You obviously don't know this because the Kansas City Star doesn't know how to dig into a story.

You see, the JoCo 8 sued the County because, they claim, they could not be re-hired under county policy if they had been previously terminated.

Kline has said all along that he and his employees (current and former) are NOT subject to county policy.

Thus, the JoCo 8's real beef is with Johnson County's personnel policies. Everyone knows Kline has the legal right to fire whomever he wishes - it is the JoCo Board of Commissioners who have thrown a monkey wrench into this story.

Just read KSA 22a-101 if you have any doubt. Check with Nola Foulston and other DA's if you still don't get it.

Diane Silver said...

First, the fired employees have a huge beef with Kline and they've filed suit against him in federal court.

Second, it appears that Johnson County just ruled in the favor of the fired employees. See the post on the main page of this blog.

Third, other DAs, including Kline's predecessor, follow county personnel policies, and they understand the need to be fair to employees.

Finally, my post was about morality. Despite the fact that I disagree with most of the theology and politics of the religious right, I do agree on the importance of morality and the fact that higher principles than mere law are involved in our daily lives.

That's what I was talking about when I started this post with "Integrity. Compassion. Accountability." Those are values that I would think any moral person, certainly one who claims to be as religious as Kline, would follow.

Yet, Kline has so far shown no interest in doing any of these things when it comes to firing people. As far as I can tell, he never met with them. Heck, he didn't even fire them face to face, but sent a deputy to do it.

If Kline feels that there is a legal principle involved, then he could have met face to face with the employeese before he fired them. He could have met face to face in the days afterwards. He could have had the integrity to be honest and fair. Instead, he refuses to do any of that.

Yup... I still see the issue as intregity, compassion and accountability.