Several Leavenworth County employees could continue to be paid their salaries even if they are terminated, according to contracts recently approved by the County Commission.

Several Leavenworth County employees could continue to be paid their salaries even if they are terminated, according to contracts recently approved by the County Commission.

The new county counselor, Mollie Hill, and deputy county counselor, Andrea Hughes, could continue to be paid their salaries for the remainder of their three-year contracts after termination unless they are convicted of felonies or fraud related to their duties with the county.

They also would be able to continue to receive health insurance for their families through the county government as well as participate in employee benefits.

This is according to their contracts, which were obtained by the Leavenworth Times through an open records request.

Hill was originally hired Dec. 1 as a deputy county counselor. But her contract as county counselor was approved Dec. 29.

Hughes’ contract was approved Dec. 15.

The contracts include similar termination provisions to one that was approved last year for a five-year contract for Human Resources Director Tamara Copeland.

Commission Chairman Bob Holland said Thursday that Copeland’s contract was used as a model for more recent contracts that have been approved by the commission.

“We kind of did the same thing,” he said.

Holland said that when people are asked to uproot to take jobs for the county, it is good for them to know they have contracts.

While Holland and Commissioner Dennis Bixby have supported such contracts, Commissioner Clyde Graeber recently said he does not support contracts for county employees.

Under their contracts, Hill and Hughes can resign before the end of their contract periods, but they shall endeavor to provide written notice at least 60 days in advance.

Hill and Hughes are not required to live within Leavenworth County, but they have to reside within a county that is adjacent to Leavenworth County.

Hill will be paid a salary of $93,704 this year. Next year, she will receive a pay increase of not less than 2 percent. The following year, she will be paid according to a county pay plan schedule.

Hughes will receive a salary of $78,603 this year. Next year, she will receive a pay increase of not less than 2 percent. The following year, she will be paid according to a county pay plan schedule.

Hill has filled a vacancy that was created last month by the termination of David Van Parys. Van Parys was fired from his job as county counselor after working for the county for 26 years.

The deputy county counselor position had been vacant since Roger Marrs resigned from the job in September.

Marrs has continued to be employed by the county, working in the Information Systems Department. The county also has contracted with him for legal services related to real estate taxes.

The County Commission also recently approved a three-year contract for the new road and bridge superintendent, Vincent Grier.

Under the terms of his contract, he also may continue to receive his base salary through remainder of his contract period if he is terminated. However, his contract provides for additional reasons for which he can be fired for cause without the county having to continue to pay his salary.

The county would be able to terminate him for cause for gross violation of county policies, misconduct, dereliction of duties, conviction of a felony or conviction of fraud related to his duties.

Grier will be paid $64,292 this year. In subsequent years, he will be paid according to the county’s pay plan schedule.

Grier replaces Doug Smith as the county’s road and bridge superintendent. Smith has been elected to the County Commission, and he retired from his job as road and bridge superintendent.

Grier also is subject to the same residency requirements as the county counselor and deputy county counselor.

Hill and Hughes attended Thursday’s County Commission meeting and were recognized during a meet and greet event. The event also recognized the county’s new financial administrator, Mark Loughry.

“We’re very excited about having them on board,” Holland said.

Loughry is working under a two-year contract, and the termination terms of his contract differ from those of the county counselor, deputy county counselor and road and bridge superintendent.

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