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Hammond's position eliminated at Parkville

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

During a special executive session meeting on Thursday night, the Parkville Board of Aldermen eliminated a position once occupied by Deb Hammond.

The board entered into an agreement with Hammond after allegations--never proven--had surfaced about falsified timesheets. The city hired an Overland Park Human Resources consultant to investigate reports of alleged time sheet discrepancies in January.

Hammond was placed on paid administrative leave at the time until the investigation was completed.

Last Tuesday, the aldermen held an executive session to discuss the Hammond situation. According to Kathy Dusenbery, mayor, the aldermen were still doing fact finding, and results from the consultant were provided to the city. However, Dusenbery said the aldermen were not consulting the results and the city was not using the firm any longer.

A press release sent by the city on Friday about the agreement states:

“Ms. Hammond has successfully completed the special projects assigned to her by the city and believes her help on the special projects has benefitted the city. The position Ms. Hammond filled is being eliminated. This decision is not the result of any allegations or findings of wrong-doing and the issue of timesheets is a closed matter. The city considers this matter closed.”

According to a source at city hall, all city employees were asked Friday morning to sign forms stating they will not talk with the press about the Hammond situation. But City Administrator Joe Turner denied that employees were asked to sign a document.

“No, that is untrue and I'm not going to talk to anyone about this issue,” said Turner.
The agreement says Hammond will continue to be paid until April 30 and will continue to receive the benefits she is currently receiving.

Part four of the agreement says that Hammond will not initiate any legal claim or lawsuit against the city and the city will also not pursue any type of legal action.

Another portion of the agreement says that Hammond will “release, discharge and forever hold harmless the City of Parkville and each of its agents, employees, officers, directors and elected officials, from any and all claims or causes of action whether known or unknown, which you, or any person or entity claiming through you, has had or may have against the City arising out of and leading to the cessation of your employment with the City.”

The next portion includes an agreement between Hammond and Parkville to not “make or assert any disparaging or negative comments about the other.”

The agreement specifically points out that Hammond is not being cited for doing anything wrong.

“The parties agree that this agreement is not to be construed as an admission of liability or wrongdoing by either party.”

The letter was signed by Mayor Pro Tem Marvin Ferguson because Kathy Dusenbery was not present for the meeting.

“I had a family obligation and couldn't be there,” said Dusenbery. “If I could have gone I would have been there.”

Dusenbery is a candidate for the Republican nomination for first district Platte County commissioner. She had pressed for the hiring of Hammond about a year ago.


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