Letters, Grant Discussed by Jo Co Commission, Attorney

Letters, Grant Discussed by Jo Co Commission, Attorney

At their meeting Wednesday, the Johnson County Commissioners publicly criticized County Attorney Ken DeCock for his handling of events concerning the exchange of letters over a grant application and the reason for the letters being sent to the media a full day before the commissioners were notified of any problem.

Last week, DeCock's office drafted a letter to the commissioners and forwarded copies to local media about the commissioner's decision to not allow Administrative Assistant Jennifer Jackson to complete a grant application, saying it was retaliation for his office's stance on the legal fees from the County Assessor's Office concerning the lease of water at Lake DeSmet.

When asked by the commissioners why the letter was sent to the media a full day before they received it, DeCock said it was an error made by his office.

Commissioner John Gibbs commented on the letter being sent to the media.

Commission Chair Smokey Wildeman said work on the grant application was stopped because Jackson works for the commissioners, not the County Attorney's office, and she did not have the appropriate information to complete the grant. Because of the sensitive nature of the information, DeCock's office should be completing the grant application, it was decided.

After discussions, the commissioners voted to uphold the decision for Jackson not to complete the grant application, and have DeCock's office complete it.

He responded by saying, “we will do our best to get it done.”

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