Information and next steps regarding a KOMA complaint

Next week, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will vote on adopting a response from the county’s legal department to a Kansas Open Meetings Act complaint filed with the State of Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach by Johnson County District Three Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara.

Commissioner O’Hara filed a complaint with the AG’s office on July 6, alleging that the BOCC violated KOMA during a June 29, 2023 executive session. In her complaint, she suggests that the board, in executive session, improperly discussed general market adjustments to county salaries. This was one of five alleged violations in her complaint, and the four others were found by the AG’s office to not be violations and were closed. The AG’s office has requested more information on the one remaining allegation.

KOMA allows governing bodies to recess into executive session and privately discuss 15 different topics, including personnel matters of nonelected personnel. More information is available in K.S.A. 75-4319.

“We are fully cooperating with the Attorney General’s Office, and I trust the veracity of this investigation,” said Johnson County BOCC Chairman Mike Kelly. “I appreciate that our team is handling these allegations directly and remain confident in this process.”

The information the county legal department is compiling for the AG’s office will include questionnaires provided to individual commissioners. This matter is scheduled for discussion during the Aug. 24 Agenda Review, with a vote scheduled for the Aug. 31 BOCC business session on a response to the complaint drafted by the county’s legal department. The AG’s office requested a response by Aug. 21. Due to the BOCC’s meeting schedule, the county legal department requested and received an extension to Sept. 8. 

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