Southeast Kansas voters approve rare recall of county commissioner

Voters in southeast Kansas have managed to recall their county commissioner. The vote to remove Labette County Commissioner Brian Kinzie from office isn’t quite official, but he has conceded that he lost the race.

The Wichita Eagle reported that 831 people voted to recall Kinzie while 580 said he should stay in office, so even if a few votes are thrown out when the results are certified Monday, it isn’t likely to change the result.

The campaign against Kinzie was based on the fact that he violated Kansas’ open meetings act when he had a phone conversation with another member of the three-person county commission. The Kansas Attorney General’s office investigated that. Recall petition organizers also raised concerns about whether Kinzie’s family would benefit financially from a proposed wind farm.

State law makes it hard to recall officials in Kansas. Any recall petition has to be certified by the county’s top prosecutor and recalls are only allowed if an official has been convicted of a felony, committed misconduct in office or failed to perform his or her duties.

In this case, the state AG’s investigation of the open meetings violation supported the misconduct allegation. Kinzie called the allegations against him ridiculous and said the recall election is likely to discourage others from running for office in the county [Chron.com].



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