The Sedgwick County Commission and County Counselor Eric Yost formally agreed to part ways Monday.
During a special meeting, commissioners approved an agreement with Yost to release him after 3 years in the role.
Under the settlement, Yost will receive $77,077 to cover six months of his salary and one year of health insurance from the county, but not the public apology requested by Yost and his attorney, Austin Parker.
Yost’s resignation comes after weeks of turmoil among county leadership. He had been put on paid administrative leave earlier this month after some of the commissioners accused him of violating attorney-client privilege related to a separate FBI investigation involving the commission, an accusation Chairman David Dennis now says he shouldn't have made.
"I regret making any statements because I'm not an attorney and I don't fully understand attorney-client privilege," Dennis said after the meeting.
Commissioner Jim Howell has repeatedly defended Yost against those accusations. He called Monday a “sad day in our history,” but said the settlement spares the county from what could be a costly trial.
“There’s allegations on both sides,” Howell said. “And we’re making a choice to move forward, to not see this go to a trial that’s going to cost both sides significant litigation costs, and we don’t know where it ends up.”
He stressed that the agreement is a settlement, not a severance, and said Yost wasn’t fired.
“I would not use the word,” he said. “We just agreed to part ways.”
Dennis denied Yost’s departure was the result of retaliation by the commission.
"There has been no retaliatory moves," he said.
Dennis couldn't say whether this is the last shake-up among county leadership, but said he's hopeful the commission can start the next term, with two new members, "on brand-new clean footing."
Former assistant county counselor Mike Pepoon is currently serving as the interim county counselor.