The Leavenworth County Commission ended an 11-month search for its second county administrator Thursday with the appointment of an attorney with ties to the county and 35 years of experience in state government.
The commission voted, 2-1, to appoint Patrick Hurley, 70, to the position, which has remained unfilled since Heather Morgan left for a private-sector job last October.
Hurley originally is from Leavenworth and currently lives and practices law in Topeka. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1976 to 1980 for the 41st District. He was House majority leader in 1979 and 1980 under House Speaker John Carlin. When Carlin became governor in 1980, he appointed Hurley as secretary of the Department of Administration.
Hurley said Friday he and his wife, Patricia, felt as though they were coming home.
“We’ve wanted to return for the past few years,” he said. “We had a chance to purchase a home (in Leavenworth) before I even knew about this.
“I’ve never had any plans to retire. I just wanted to get back to Leavenworth. This worked out well.”
Commission Chairman Clyde Graber and 3rd District Commissioner John Flower voted for the appointment, while Commissioner Bob Holland voted no, saying he was being true to his campaign promise of not hiring a county administrator.
During a transition period, which could last a many as 90 days as Hurley helps his current clients find other representation, he will work three days for the county at 60 percent of his $85,000-a-year salary.