Fired employees sue Phill Kline
Fired employees sue Phill Kline
By DIANE CARROLL The Kansas City Star 1/16/07
The seven former prosecutors and chief investigator dismissed by District Attorney Phill Kline filed a lawsuit today against Kline in Johnson County District Court.

Kline dismissed the employees on Jan. 8, the same day that he was sworn into office. Two days later, the eight filed grievances with the county requesting reinstatement and back pay. After Kline told county commissioners Friday that he would not participate in hearings on the grievances, county chief counsel Don Jarrett said the hearings would not be held.

In a letter to commissioners Friday, Kline said state statute designates him as an executive officer of the 10th judicial district. Under the statute, the letter states, his office is considered “a separate entity within said district for administrative purposes.” In addition, the letter said, a district attorney is not bound by a county’s personnel policies or rules.

Jarrett said Friday that the next step would be up to the fired employees.

Among the employees is John Fritz, who was in charge of the district attorney’s juvenile division.

To reach Diane Carroll, call (816) 234-7704 or send e-mail to