Leavenworth County’s financial administrator was initially hired with a two-year contract. But that contract later was extended to three years.

Leavenworth County’s financial administrator was initially hired with a two-year contract. But that contract later was extended to three years.

The updated contract also changed the terms of Financial Administrator Mark Loughry’s severance pay in the event he is terminated by the County Commission.

The issue of Loughry’s contract was raised Thursday during a meeting of the commission.

During a public comment period, former County Commissioner Louis Klemp said he had been under the impression that Loughry’s contract was only for two years. But Klemp said he had learned the financial administrator now has a three-year contract.

This later was confirmed by Loughry.

“I currently have a three-year contract Mr. Klemp,” Loughry said.

Loughry’s initial contract with the county government was approved Nov. 17. The second contract was approved Dec. 15, according to copies of the documents.

Minutes of the Dec. 15 meeting indicate that commissioners approved two personnel actions during the meeting. But no other details are provided in the minutes.

The Leavenworth Times obtained a copy of Loughry’s original contract after it was approved last year and obtained a copy of the second contract this week after learning of its existence.

According to the terms of the original contract, the county would have had to pay Loughry an additional six months worth of his salary if he was terminated.

Under the second contract, the county would have to continue to pay Loughry his salary for the remainder of the length of the contract after he is terminated. Loughry also would be able to continue to receive health insurance through the county and participate in other employee benefits.

The county would not have to continue paying Loughry’s salary or for his benefits if he is fired because of a conviction of a felony or fraud related to his duties.

Loughry was offered the job in November, but he did not begin working for the county until Jan. 3.

Speaking after Thursday’s meeting, Loughry explained that he was contacted by telephone by the county’s human resources director, Tamara Copeland, around Dec. 15.

Loughry said Copeland indicated commissioners wished to make a few amendments to his contract.

“She read those amendments to me over the phone,” Loughry said.

Loughry said he gave his OK to the adjustments.

The updated contract was approved Dec. 15 by Commissioners Bob Holland and Dennis Bixby. Commissioner Clyde Graeber was absent.

Bixby’s term on the commission expired in January. He was replaced by Doug Smith, who now serves as the commission’s chairman.

Holland said Thursday that an attorney had reviewed Loughry’s contract and found a slight problem.

When correcting the problem, it was decided to make the terms of Loughry’s contract similar to those in the contracts for County Counselor Mollie Hill and Deputy County Counselor Andrea Hughes.

“Three-year contracts aren’t that unusual,” Holland said.

Graeber said Thursday that he only recently learned of the second contract that was approved for Loughry.

Graeber said Loughry provided him with copies of both contracts.

Graeber would not say Thursday whether he would have approved the updated contract if he had been present during the Dec. 15 vote.

However, Graeber has been critical of other contracts that have been approved by the commission.

“You know I’ve not been supportive of contracts,” he said.

Last week, Smith and Graeber voted to have copies of all contracts approved since the beginning of 2016 to be collected so the documents can be reviewed by outside legal counsel. Holland was absent at the time of the vote.

On Monday, commissioners voted to hire the law firm of Anderson and Byrd, Ottawa, for the review. The motion was approved 2-1 with Holland voting against it.

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