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Archive for Friday, November 12, 1999

GOP LEADER BACKS INQUIRY INTO CONTRACTS

November 12, 1999

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Kent Glasscock is the brother of the former Department on Aging official who received a $135,000 no-bid consulting contract this year.

Kansas House Majority Leader Kent Glasscock said he would support any investigation into the problem of no-bid consulting contracts in state government, even though such a probe likely would focus on his own brother.

Speaking with reporters after a Kiwanis Club luncheon Thursday in Lawrence, Glasscock, R-Manhattan, also said he is staying out of the debate over who should conduct such an investigation.

Glasscock is the brother of former Deputy Secretary on Aging Terry Glasscock, who received a $135,000 fellowship grant from the department on a no-bid basis to work as an outside consultant on "re-engineering" the agency.

Kent Glasscock is married to Joyce Glasscock, who is Gov. Bill Graves' chief of staff.

Thelma Hunter Gordon, who was Secretary on Aging when Terry Glasscock worked at the department, resigned her job Oct. 31, hours after the Journal-World published stories about the grant and about Gordon's out-of-state travel expenses.

The $135,000 was paid in a lump sum, but Graves has since announced that the contract has been canceled and that Terry Glasscock has agreed to return $90,000 to the state.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Administration Dan Stanley has said he thinks awarding the grant to Terry Glasscock violated state purchasing policy and may have violated state law.

"I don't know enough to be able to judge, but I have a great deal of respect for Dan Stanley and his opinions," Kent Glasscock said Thursday. "I would also say, though, that Terry would not knowingly have done anything wrong. If anything was structured inappropriately, it would have been inadvertent."

On Wednesday, Democrats on the state's Legislative Coordinating Council called for appointing a committee of lawmakers, armed with subpoena power, to investigate the Department on Aging fellowship and other consulting contracts with the state that have been awarded on a no-bid basis.

But Republicans, who make up a majority on the LCC, said they preferred to leave it up to the Legislative Division of Post Audit, the State Ethics Commission, or a combination of the two.

House Speaker Robin Jennison, R-Healy, said he hopes to negotiate a compromise by next week.

Kent Glasscock, who is a member of the LCC, recused himself from the discussion Wednesday but said he would support any call for an investigation.

"I think it's fine," he said.

-- Peter Hancock's phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is phancock@ljworld.com.

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