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Legislative Post Audit Committee investigates firings of KHP majors

(Phil Anderson)
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 2:07 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The State Legislative Post Audit Committee will go forward with an investigation into the firings of two top Kansas Highway Patrol troopers.

The audit was requested by Rep. John Barker (R) Abilene.

He said several constituents and legislators from across the state came to him with concerns over the July firings of Maj. Scott Harrington and Maj. Josh Kellerman.

The pair was let go after an independent investigation was conducted into complaints against Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent, Col. Herman Jones.

Gov. Laura Kelly’s office announced the termination as part of staff changes to make the agency more effective.

The Kansas State Trooper’s Association argues they were fired for supporting employees who filed complaints against Jones.

The audit will look into whether KHP followed the right policies and procedures for the recent terminations.

Following Wednesday’s Committee meeting Rep. Barker said, “I’ve spoken with Col. Jones. I don’t know him that well, but it’s to his advantage also to have this done because if the post audit says he met all the criteria for firing one of his troopers, fine. I just want to make sure that we follow procedures and it’s transparency.”

In an interview with 13 NEWS Gov. Kelly said, “I am very comfortable with the process that occurred prior to the termination of the two employees in question, so I’m not concerned about it. Let them do what they want to do, review it and I think that they will find the same thing that we found.”

The audit is considered “limited-scope” and will take 100 staff hours to complete.

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