The chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission reacted Monday to a television news story that aired last week.

The chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission reacted Monday to a television news story that aired last week.

Commission Doug Smith argued the story, which appeared on KSHB Channel 41, was designed to discredit him as well as fellow Commissioner Clyde Graeber and Interim County Counselor David Van Parys.

The story featured comments by the county’s third commissioner, Bob Holland, and former Commissioner Dennis Bixby. Both men were critical of a commission decision made earlier this year to hire Van Parys as a consultant after he had been fired from a job with the county.

Smith addressed the news story at the beginning of Monday’s commission meeting.

He argued there is resentment about last year’s election.

“I won the election,” Smith said. “So did Janice Van Parys, the treasurer.”

Smith defeated Bixby last year in a Republican primary for the County Commission’s 3rd District.

Smith was elected to the 3rd District seat after facing no opposition in the November general election.

Janice Van Parys was re-elected to the position of county treasurer in the November election. She is married to David Van Parys.

The county treasurer has had a contentious relationship in the past with Holland and Bixby.

Before Bixby left the commission, he and Holland voted to terminate David Van Parys from his job as county counselor.

Graeber was absent during the Dec. 15 meeting when the vote was taken to terminate David Van Parys.

David Van Parys was rehired as a consultant in January after Smith replaced Bixby on the commission.

Smith and Graeber voted to approve the contract to hire David Van Parys as a consultant. Holland voted against it.

David Van Parys was hired to handle legal matters and other duties related to projects being funded with revenue from a countywide sales tax.

Under the contract, David Van Parys is being paid $140,000 per year for these duties. His previous salary as county counselor was $95,345.

Under the contract that was approved in January, the county also pays David Van Parys at a rate of $100 per hour for additional duties not related to sales tax projects.

David Van Parys was named the interim county counselor in July after commissioners voted to place County Counselor Mollie Hill and Deputy Counselor Andrea Hughes on paid administrative leave.

Hill and Hughes are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the County Commission. The lawsuit seeks to have a judge declare the contracts of Hill, Hughes and two other county employees to be null and void.

Hughes and Hill were placed on administrative leave because of a conflict of interest.

Holland has opposed the lawsuit.

Smith encouraged audience members at Monday’s meeting to obtain the contracts that are at the center of the lawsuit through open records requests. He asked audience members to determine if the contracts are a good use of taxpayer money.

The KHSB Channel 41 story cites the termination letter of David Van Parys. According to KSHB, the letter indicates that David Van Parys had been warned about things such as insubordination and poor job performance before the termination.

Smith said Monday that two of the current commissioners feel David Van Parys had been wrongfully terminated.

Smith also expressed concern about a personnel document being leaked to the media.

Speaking after the meeting, Smith said he would like to see the leak investigated by law enforcement officers.

“Personnel records are very sacred,” he said. “They are supposed to be under lock and key.”

Graeber and David Van Parys did not address the KSHB Channel 41 story during Monday’s meeting.

Graeber recently announced he is resigning from his position on the commission because of health reasons. This will be his last week on the commission.

A message left for Holland seeking comment was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.

During Monday’s meeting, Smith also made reference to an incident involving the township treasurer that he said took place about 10 years ago. Smith argued the township treasurer may have attempted something illegal.

Smith said the person in question still serves on a township board.

Smith did not identify this person, and it is unclear why the commission chairman raised the issue.

He also did not identify the township involved but said it is in the 3rd District, which encompasses southern Leavenworth County.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR