Sedgwick County counselor placed on paid leave

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Sedgwick County commissioners have voted to place County Counselor Eric Yost on paid administrative leave.

Deputy County Counselor Karen Powell will be the acting County Counselor until Yost returns to full duty or the position is filled by an interim or appointed County Counselor.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to move forward with the motion. Commissioners Richard Ranzau and Jim Howell were against the motion.

"I think that Counselor Yost is a good man. This is my opinion. I don't have any information that he's done anything wrong. I think we are acting unnecessarily in a way that's going to continue to harm the county," said Howell before voting against the measure.

The three commissioners that voted for the motion are also the ones that Yost's attorney outed for supposedly conspiring to fire the county manager. Yost's attorney claims the three commissioners, David Dennis, Dave Unruh, and Michael O'Donnell, were mad at the county manager for cooperating with the FBI in its criminal investigation into O'Donnell.

"We've had a lot of turmoil and this was the next step that the county commission thought needs to happen for us to continue to operate our government," said Unruh.

Unruh added that he has not been contacted by the FBI and that he has not been informed that he is a target in an FBI investigation.

"I have no notification of that, other than hearsay," said Unruh.

Howell on the other hand said he had a three-hour long discussion with the FBI in October.

"The nature of the questioning was really about actions of my colleagues. So, I answered the questions to the best of my ability," said Howell.

Commissioners spent an hour in a closed door, executive session before the vote this afternoon. 

Howell said there was a discussion of a potential settlement with Yost.

"I actually made that clear going into the meeting today that was the purpose of the meeting was they wanted to discuss details of a settlement, a potential settlement. That's the nature. I can't give any details exactly what was being discussed," said Howell.

Yost's attorney had no comment after the vote. You can view his statements from last Friday by clicking here.

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