A Leavenworth County commissioner said the sheriff was disrespectful when hiring an attorney who recently was fired by commissioners.

A Leavenworth County commissioner said the sheriff was disrespectful when hiring an attorney who recently was fired by commissioners.

“I think he’s been totally disrespectful,” Commissioner Louis Klemp said of Sheriff Andy Dedeke.

The comments came Thursday during a meeting of the Leavenworth County Commission.

Klemp expressed frustration that Dedeke did not speak with commissioners before hiring Mollie Hill to serve in the new position of general counsel for the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office.

Hill began working for the Sheriff's Office this week.

Commissioners voted 2-1 Oct. 30 to terminate Hill from her previous job of county counselor.

Prior to the termination, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the County Commission to challenge the validity of the employment contracts of Hill and a few other county employees.

Hill filed a counterclaim against the commission in the lawsuit.

Klemp said Hill was fired because the county was paying someone who was suing the commission.

Commissioner Bob Holland, who voted against Hill’s termination, said the commission started the issue by suing Hill and then putting her on administrative leave before she was terminated.

Holland also said the sheriff deserves to be talked about in a professional way.

“He had no respect for us,” Klemp said.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said the sheriff is an elected official.

“I just respect elected officials,” Smith said.

Smith said he does not want to try to micromanage the offices of elected officials.

At one point, Klemp made a motion to remove $82,000 from the budget of the Sheriff’s Office. This is the approximate annual salary of Hill in her new position at the Sheriff’s Office. But the motion died because another commissioner did not provide a second to the motion.

Commissioners did approve a motion asking County Counselor David Van Parys to contact Hill’s attorney. Commissioners want to inquire whether Hill plans to continue to participate in the lawsuit regarding her old contract now that she is once again a county employee.

The motion was approved 2-1 with Holland voting against it.

Van Parys said he will contact Hill’s attorney and attempt to initiate a dialogue.

In her new position with the Sheriff’s Office, Hill is not working under a contract, according to Dedeke.

Dedeke did not attend the commission meeting. When interviewed by phone, the sheriff said he did not consider notifying commissioners before hiring Hill. Dedeke said he has authority as sheriff to hire employees and has never consulted with commissioners prior to hiring anyone.

Dedeke said he had communicated with County Administrator Mark Loughry regarding the issue.

During Thursday’s meeting, Klemp hinted he may support a campaign against Dedeke if the sheriff seeks re-election.

“He deserves to go,” Klemp said.

Klemp said he is going after Dedeke’s position. Klemp said he also is going after the county attorney.

Klemp expressed frustration Thursday that County Attorney Todd Thompson had given raises to some of the attorneys in the County Attorney’s Office.

Klemp questioned whether Thompson understands what the raises do to other county employees who did not receive the same level of pay increase.

Dedeke said Klemp has the same right as any citizen to campaign against him.

“I think there’s better things to focus on at the moment like running Leavenworth County,” Dedeke said.

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