Archive for Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kansas state officials decline to detail why former KDHE secretary Bremby is still being paid, two months after resigning

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby on Monday discusses the computer breakdown at his agency over the past few days. Bremby said KDHE is busy restoring systems but that no data was compromised or lost.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby on Monday discusses the computer breakdown at his agency over the past few days. Bremby said KDHE is busy restoring systems but that no data was compromised or lost.

December 30, 2010, 8:45 a.m. Updated December 30, 2010, 1:31 p.m.

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— The former secretary of the Kansas health and environment agency, who was ousted after refusing to issue a permit for a coal-fired plant in western Kansas, has been getting payments from the state since he left office in early November, according to a newspaper report.

An attorney for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told The Kansas City Star that Roderick Bremby has received about $18,000 since he left office Nov. 2.

Gov. Mark Parkinson’s staff and department officials told the Star that state law allows them not to disclose why Bremby was still receiving state payments.

Bremby abruptly stepped down after refusing a request from Parkinson to leave the agency and become transition director until Gov.-elect Sam Brownback is sworn in.

The departure attracted particular attention because Bremby had refused in 2007 to issue a permit to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. for a coal-fired plant in western Kansas, saying it was a health risk.

His replacement, John Mitchell, issued the permit this month, allowing the utility to begin construction on the $2.8 billion project outside Holcomb without having to comply with new federal rules on greenhouse gases that take effect next week.

KDHE spokeswoman Kristi Pankratz said Thursday that the agency has disclosed all the information on the subject that it is required by law to release. Parkinson spokeswoman Amy Jordan Wooden did not return telephone messages Thursday from The Associated Press.

Bremby has never commented on his departure and past attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful because phone listings for him have not been in service.

Parkinson has denied that Bremby’s departure was linked to the coal plant project.

Environmentalists on Wednesday were skeptical, saying the paychecks and the lack of an explanation from Parkinson raised more questions about the process of issuing the air-quality permit review for the coal plant.

“There has never been a clear explanation why Secretary Bremby was removed,” Stephanie Cole, spokeswoman for the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club, told the Star. “The lack of transparency surrounding this issue is unacceptable.”

Scott Allegrucci, executive director of Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy, wondered if Bremby had been required to sign a nondisclosure agreement to keep his salary.

“News that Bremby is still being paid and that the governor’s office won’t comment sounds to us like there is some kind of severance or nondisclosure agreement in place to keep the public ... from discovering the facts,” Allegrucci said.

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, spokeswoman for Gov.-elect Sam Brownback declined to speculate about whether the payments would continue once Brownback takes office Jan. 10.

“We have no knowledge about anything with Mr. Bremby or the Parkinson administration,” she said.

Comments

BigDog 4 years, 2 months ago

If this were a Republican administration, Paul Davis and Anthony Hensley would be having a press conference to ask for this information.

They should be asking for this information regardless of the political party in charge. Aren't they to represent the people ...... if they are truly representing the people (which many in both parties don't do anymore) they would be asking for answers.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

So ask yourself -- why aren't Mike O'Neal and Steve Morris having that same press conference?

BigDog 4 years, 2 months ago

Cappy ..... In an appointed position, you serve at the will of Governor.

I doubt he would have any chance in any kind of wrongful termination suit.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 2 months ago

As far as I've seen, he was fired for doing his job.

Kontum1972 4 years, 2 months ago

Rep or Demo or indep., it doesnt matter,,its our money..and who wrote this state law

Kris_H 4 years, 2 months ago

Did he get vacation and/or sick time that accumlated? Maybe a payout still on some of that? Did he have a contract specifiying a certain amount paid out after termination? There doesn't have to be anything fishy about this.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

There doesn't have to be.

But, why not disclose what the money is for then? The fact that they won't leads to suspicion.

Kris_H 4 years, 2 months ago

No, the fact that they won't means they don't have to since it's part of a personnel issue and it's state employment. Damn conspiracy theorists everywhere. :D

Jimo 4 years, 2 months ago

Wish I could get paid for refusing to do my job and throwing a tantrum of entitlement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

What makes you think that's what happened?

Looks to me more like Parkinson didn't trust Bremby to rule the way he wanted, so he forced him out.

Darrell Lea 4 years, 2 months ago

Why not give it a try, then report back to us how it went?

geekin_topekan 4 years, 2 months ago

Maybe it took weeks to process him into the payroll system and he is receiving payment for services from weeks ago?

estespark 4 years, 2 months ago

"I looked into it more deeply and I found that apparently what happened is that he was laid off five years ago and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a paycheck."

KEITHMILES05 4 years, 2 months ago

He served entirely at the discretion of the governor. There is absolutely no grounds for wrongful termination.

staff04 4 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

otto 4 years, 2 months ago

Gov. Mark Parkinson's staff and department officials told the Star that state law allows them not to disclose why Bremby was still receiving state payments.

And apparently we need a new Governor and staff.

kernal 4 years, 2 months ago

Otto, maybe you need a lesson in government 101. The governor and staff are not the ones who write the laws in KS; the state legislature does.

otto 4 years, 2 months ago

State law allows them not to disclose not makes them. Thanks for your moronic reply though.

kernal 4 years, 2 months ago

Shhhhh, go back to sleep. Hush money for what? Breathing?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

"His replacement, John Mitchell, issued the permit this month, allowing the utility to begin construction on the $2.8 billion project outside Holcomb without having to comply with new federal rules on greenhouse gases that take effect next week. "

Dumb and irresponsible!!!

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 2 months ago

I undestand Merrill, if they do something you don't .ike it, it is "Dumb and irresponsible!!!"

If they do something you like, they are great.

Got it. I would be nice to know the rules.

I think John Mitcheell should look into regulating the emmissions of gas powered lawn mowers first.

Alceste 4 years, 2 months ago

"They're" all part of the same club and take care of their own....Republican or Democrat...they're all cut from the same cloth; play musical chairs (that's why you see the same names over and over and over in this state) with appointee positions; and then run the state into the ground. We get what we deserve.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Internal combustion lawn mowers are killing the planet! Dumb and irresponsible!!!!

ksriver2010 4 years, 2 months ago

All state employees pay and info is public. You can look up any person's pay online. Transparency is not a hallmark of any government (state or city) in Kansas.

lounger 4 years, 2 months ago

He is the only holdout for kansas. Bremby is a rare thing in kansas politics. Brownback and Parkinson are on the take from the peeps who will be building this horrible coal plant. Bremby the hero in my book!

Taxpayer 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Bremby, I know you well enough to know that you will read these comments. Do the right thing and release a statement why you are still receiving our tax dollars without earning them. when you worked for the City of Lawrence often times people would say you were a good example of Affirmative Action policies gone amok. Prove them wrong and tell us why you are still getting paid.

otto 4 years, 2 months ago

and pay for his families belongings when they filed for bankruptcy

ralphralph 4 years, 2 months ago

  • state law allows them not to disclose why Bremby was still receiving state payments. *

I beg to differ. Make a formal KORA request. Sue them if they fail to provide the information. Cash the check.

Alceste 4 years, 2 months ago

Bremby has grown accustomed to NOT working for a living as that is essentially what goes on in a political appointee position, particularly one corrupted by "Affirmative Action".

Mr. Bremby knows full well and good that his "key to the Men's Room" has been taken away from him and he shall never enjoy the income stream he had. He will hold onto that $9,000.00 per month (?) check/direct deposit as long as he possibly can.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

I wondered how long it would take for the racists to appear.

pace 4 years, 2 months ago

Alceste probably doesn't know he is a racist, he 'really" feels that way. We need to understand that legislation alone doesn't eradicate racism. Legislation is a crucial step but the more important step is open dialogue and discussion of the issues and roots. We have used legislation as an excuse not to face, not to talk about the ugly mental illness that racism is in this country. Racism is a mental disease, I don't mean it can't be helped but it is aberrant thinking. . The therapy is better understanding and open discussion, also action. We need to stand up against it and and recognize it.

Alceste 4 years, 2 months ago

No more "racist" than you, bus rider. It is diversity of thought that made the USA what it is. To assume all white people think alike is racism; to assume that all black people think alike is racism; to assume all yellow people think alike is reacism; to assume all Jews think alike is racism; to assume all many members of any ethnic or racial group think alike is racism.

Anyone who actually thinks "Affirmative Action" is anything more than a quota system needs to get back into the real world. It is one of our more "racist" institutions. The "do gooders" who "did good" and passed a law....then forgot about the issue of real racism in the USA did the Nation a dis-service. Racism is alive and well in the USA and has nothing whatsoever to do with "Affirmative Action".

Joe Hyde 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, why shouldn't the state of Kansas keep paying Mr. Bremby's salary even after he was ousted due to political pressure? He's earned that money. He's the only KDHE Secretary we've ever had who possessed both the courage and one governor's support to actually protect our health and environment instead of surrendering to corporate greed.

windjammer 4 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone beleive this by the spokeswoman for Brownback? "We have no knowledge about anything with Mr. Bremby or the Parkinson administration." You speak with forked tongue.

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