Jail Report Calls for Higher Pay, More Training & New Jail?
November 2, 2015

A new report says Jackson County Jail Corrections officers suffer from high turnover, and low starting wages.

The report, issued Monday also calls for the County to look into the possibility of replacing the 31-year old high-rise jail in downtown Kansas City.

The report says the starting wage for some officers of $11.45 an hour is not enough to lure people into a stressful job with long hours.

Commission Co-Chairman Al brooks says the County’s pay scale is not competitive.

“And the County couldn’t keep up with what the other industries were doing. In fact the County was the lowest in the region,” he said.

The report also suggests the County Department of Corrections improve its training and seek accreditation.
Brooks said that could also improve practices and standards at the jail.

The report was commissioned after incidents earlier this year of guards being accused of excessive force.

One of the key finding calls upon Jackson County to consider the feasibility of a new jail.

Brooks says the current facility, first built in the mid-1980’s and often at, or near its 720-inmate capacity; is outdated.

“You don’t build jails anymore 6-8-10 stories anymore. So it’s campus style. So it’s both for the employees and the detainee,” Brooks said.

Jackson County officials will starting building their 2016 budget next week. It’s expected they’ll plan to raise the wages for jail guards.

Nixon Continues to Fight Private School Option in Student Transfer Change
May 13, 2014

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has reiterated his opposition to letting students in failing school districts transfer to nonreligious private schools at public expense.
Nixon spoke Tuesday as House and Senate negotiators were finalizing a plan to revise a 1993 that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to neighboring schools. That law has put a financial strain on a suburban St. Louis district because it is required to pay the transportation costs for transferring students.
Part of the Legislature’s plan would let students attend a private school after exhausting other options and if local voters approve. But Nixon says that would destabilize public education and open the door to what he called more “radical schemes.” Supporters say the private option is necessary to pass the legislation

Jackson County Settles $1.4 Million Discrimination Suit
March 25, 2014

(AP) – Jackson County will pay $1.4 million to five former county employees who complained of harassment and discrimination.

The County Legislature approved the settlement Monday. Details of the incidents that prompted the complaints were not released.

Attorney John Phillips told the Independence Examiner that the incidents go back to the 1990s but were only recently brought to the attention of senior county executives. All the employees worked in the assessment department.

He says the incidents were not physical. None of those involved in the conduct or who did not report it are no longer working for the county. All five employees agreed not to discuss the settlement and not to apply for any county jobs in the future.

Former Jackson Co Court administrator Pleads Guilty
November 21, 2013

Former Jackson County Administrator Teresa York plead guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court Thursday.

Prosecutors say York embezzled $140,000 of county money during a period from January of 2009 until June of 2012. US Attorney Tammy Dickinson says the problem was discovered during a routine audit of the court’s records.

At a news conference, Dickinson says York used the county’s credit cards to ring up tens of thousands of dollars in personal spending.

She says York also spent about $6,000 on gift cards. The prosecutors say York hand out those gift cards as bonuses to employee she felt deserved them They say she did not use the county’s method for awarding raises.

The case against her also includes an accusation that York spent almost $65,000 in county funds on a fraudulent contract she entered into with an unnamed and “unindicted co-conspirator”, according to the prosecutors.

Dickinson says it was someone York had a personal relationship with.

Dickinson also expects York’s lawyer to dispute that during sentencing proceedings later on.

Dickisnon says they’ll seek a harsh sentence for York.

York could face up to 20 years and prison and $250,000 fine.

Sanders Names Jolly Senior Advisor
January 29, 2013

Cathy Jolly

Cathy Jolly

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders has appointed former Kansas City Councilwoman Cathy Jolly as a ‘senior advisor”, to his administration.
““Throughout her career, she has been a tireless advocate for the citizens of Kansas City and Jackson County and I have no doubt that she will continue to do so in this new role,” Sanders said.
Jolly will work on health and public safety issues.
Jolly served on the City Council of Kansas City. She is a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives and a former assistant county prosecutor.
Sanders also announced the county’s Chief Administrative Officer, Fred Siems is scaling back his role.
He’s been part of the Sanders’ administration since 2007.