Assistant prosecutor Todd Thompson says he was told to pack his bags three days after telling his boss, Leavenworth County Attorney Frank Kohl, he wanted his job.
Thompson, who had been head of the juvenile division of the County Attorney's Office for the past five years, said he told Kohl, a Democrat, on Friday of his intention to seek the Republican nomination for county attorney.
Monday, Thompson received a call from Kohl around 4 p.m. and was told to pack his belongings. Thompson said the reason he given for his dismissal was "a lack of judgment and forthrightness in the office."
The former assistant said his firing "wasn't about my numbers. My (prosecuting) statistics are as high as Shawnee and Douglas County. ... It wasn't for a lack of me doing a good job."
Thompson said, however, Kohl told him an assistant in the office had filed for candidacy previously and "it didn't work out."
"I was surprised at how abrupt and quickly it occurred," Thompson said, but he also added, "It's not an outright surprise. It would have been a tense office."
Still, though, Thompson said, "I think it would have been manageable."
Kohl confirmed the dismissal but would only say that it was for cause.
Thompson, a Leavenworth native and newly elected president of the Leavenworth County Bar Association filed his paperwork Wednesday for the election. He said he was running on the platform "prosecute, preserve and protect."
"I think we need to be tougher on repeat offenders," he said, noting that often crimes in the Leavenworth County community are committed by the same people over and over again.
"Repeat offenders must be appropriately sentenced instead of making deals for lesser sentences," Thompson wrote on his Web site. "By limiting the number of deals made and the number of times criminals are allowed to take lesser punishments, I will work to make our community a safer place."
Thompson is a 2001 graduate of the Washburn University School of Law.
While in Topeka, he worked in the office of the 45th District state representative before returning to Leavenworth.
In his time as an assistant county attorney, Thompson said he had tried cases ranging from rape to disorderly conduct.
Also vying for county attorney is Debra Snider, a Lansing Republican who filed for the office Monday.
As of Wednesday, Kohl, had not filed for re-election but said by phone he intended to do so before the June 10 deadline.