It appears a sufficient number of Kansas Bioscience Authority directors are intent to disregard a Johnson County investigation of former President and CEO Tom Thornton and actions of Authority directors, and pay no attention to a forensic audit by the firm of BKD and make interim CEO David Vranicar the permanent CEO.
The election of Vranicar is scheduled to take place today or Tuesday at the Authority’s board meeting.
Why the rush when there are so many unanswered questions about the actions of Thornton and the board? The KBA can be a great and positive force in Kansas, but from its inception, early board members emphasized the importance of openness, honesty and accountability.
Months ago, state Sen. Susan Wagle, of Wichita, asked many important questions about the Authority that have yet to be answered. The public deserves some honest answers.
Wouldn’t it be wise to learn the findings of the Johnson County investigation and the BKD audit before making a permanent hire? How many former KBA employees of Thornton are still on the job, and didn’t Vranicar serve under Thornton? Also, it should be understood the BKD audit is being paid for by the Authority with many suggesting it should be a totally independent and arms-length audit.
It appears strong political forces are involved, and KBA board members with strong allegiances to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are determined to control the actions and policies of the Authority.
Nothing is more important than openness and accountability of the Authority and its board members. This being the case, why rush to railroad the election of a CEO/president before the results of the Johnson County investigation, the BKD audit and the questions of Wagle have been answered? The current actions and motives of KBA directors now raise many new questions.