Decision in former Police Chief’s appeal expected in three days

Baker served as City of Wamego’s Chief for 19+ years
Former Wamego Police Chief Michael Baker will know whether or not he gets his job back in three days.
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 11:25 AM CDT
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WAMEGO, Kan. (WIBW) - Former Wamego Police Chief Michael Baker will know whether or not he gets his job back in three days.

No action was taken Friday morning at Baker’s appeal hearing. Baker and his wife arrived to Wamego City Hall shortly before the 9 a.m. meeting began, however his wife was not allowed to attend the actual hearing.

The meeting lasted only around 15 minutes. Baker told 13 NEWS the three member panel will wait three days before issuing their decision.

According to Baker, he was told in the meeting that it was not a court hearing, therefore, he could not ask questions to his witnesses.

“The way I read the city’s policies,” Baker said. “I would have had to opportunity to cross.... bring my witnesses in, ask them questions, and present my evidence supporting that the allegations of my termination are false. And I had that evidence, and they would not allow me to present it.”

Members of the panel include Casey Frisbee, City of Wamego’s Director of Operations, Leslie Dugan, Wamego City Treasurer, and Shanda Jahnke, Wamego City Clerk.

Baker was fired by Wamego City Manager Stacie Eichem June 22, 2022. He was placed on administrative leave the week before.

In a letter Baker provided to 13 NEWS, Eichem listed insubordination, inability to get along with fellow employees and conduct unbecoming of a City Employee as reasons for her decision.

Baker says those allegations are unfounded, filed a grievance on Monday, and called for the Wamego City Council to fire City Manager Eichem’s during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Baker was a member of the Wamego Police Dept. for 35 years, starting as a reserve officer. He was appointed Chief of Police in 2002, where he served for more than 19 years.

At the end of the meeting, Baker expressed frustration with the following events.

“I am very angry; I do not feel that the...this is not justice,” said Baker. “This is not right. What the City Manager is allowed to do is wrong.”

Baker then ended saying -- “Hopefully that the city council will do the right thing Tuesday night and terminate the city manager,” Baker responded.

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