Sedgwick County’s manager resigned Wednesday morning, becoming the second county leader to exit this year amid legal turmoil.
Michael Scholes will receive more than $200,000 in a settlement with the county, the equivalent of about nine months' worth of salary and benefits. He also releases the county of any legal claims he could bring.
Commissioner Richard Ranzau has accused three of his fellow commissioners of attempting to fire Scholes earlier this year after Scholes cooperated with an FBI investigation regarding Commissioner Michael O'Donnell. If true, Ranzau says, it would be a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act and the federal Whistleblower Protection Act.
Commissioners approved the agreement with Scholes during their regular meeting Wednesday after an executive session. O’Donnell and Chairman David Dennis both voted against the agreement.
Reading from a statement released jointly by the commission and Scholes, Dennis said it’s in the county’s and Scholes’ "best interests to part ways.
"It’s time for both parties to look toward the future," Dennis read.
Scholes was appointed manager in 2015. His resignation was effective as of Nov. 30. Deputy County Manager Tom Stolz was named as Scholes' interim replacement.
Last month the county reached a settlement with its top attorney, Eric Yost.