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Archive for Sunday, July 1, 2007

Former GOP executive director suing over pay

July 1, 2007

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— A former executive director of the Kansas Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against the state GOP chairman, claiming the party owes him nearly $27,000 in unpaid compensation.

In the lawsuit, Ron Freeman, of Grandview, Mo., accuses Kansas GOP Chairman Kris Kobach of breach of contract. Freeman said he didn't receive 30 days' notice, as required by his employment contract, before Kobach dismissed him in February.

Kobach removed Freeman as executive director two weeks after Republican leaders elected him chairman. Kobach had promised "dramatic reforms" in party organization after what he described as embarrassing losses in the 2006 elections.

Freeman filed his lawsuit June 22 in Shawnee County District Court. No hearings have been scheduled.

Christian Morgan, hired by Kobach to replace Freeman, said the lawsuit is without merit.

"I'm confident, the party is confident, when the facts are heard in court, the party will prevail," he said.

Freeman said in the lawsuit that his employment contract with the GOP stipulated he receive one month of regular salary, listed as $5,500, if dismissed. He alleges Kobach declined to pay it.

Freeman also said he was denied $21,480 in commissions earned on contributions to the state party organization.

Morgan said Freeman was offered a job as state GOP finance director but turned down the position.

Kobach's call to reorganize the party came after Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius easily won a second term, despite a heavy GOP advantage in voter registration. Also, Democrat Nancy Boyda unseated five-term Rep. Jim Ryun in the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas.

Democrats also benefited last year from high-profile defections from the Republican Party. Paul Morrison, the Johnson County district attorney, switched parties and unseated Attorney General Phill Kline, and former state GOP Chairman Mark Parkinson was Sebelius' choice for lieutenant governor.

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