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Former employees critical of county attorney
s Cruz 2024
Sandra Cruz addresses the Barton County Commission.

Two former employees of the Barton County Attorney’s office came to the podium at Tuesday’s Barton County Commission meeting to talk about the County Attorney’s office. Sondra Robinson and Sandra Cruz both spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, criticizing County Attorney Levi Morris, who was not present at the meeting. Both spoke of a toxic work environment.

“Last Friday, we were terminated without any reason whatsoever. This came as a surprise to us because we were never told or given any warning about our job performance,” Cruz said. “We’re having to deal with a narcissistic boss who bullies in the workplace. ... He’s told us that he’s untouchable because he’s elected.”

Robinson had been with the County Attorney’s office for over six years and Cruz worked there almost five years. Robinson spoke of a survey that was sent out, asking the employees about their jobs. 

“The overwhelming response within the office was to point out the toxic work environment that we were all being expected to work under. Brenda (Kaiser), with human resources, was notified of the problem in the office and offered to help. Levi said that HR is a joke and that Brenda’s worthless and will not be coming into his office. The environment has never improved.”

After going to Morris’s office to talk with him about the work environment, Robinson was told “not to be a snowflake. Afterwards he told me to no longer come into his office and bother him and that any further communication needed to be through email or instant messenger. ... Levi may say that I am a disgruntled employee, but in fact, my firing has given me the opportunity to now have a voice in the community to let people know what’s going on.”

The commissioners noted that they have no control over the hiring and firing of the employees of the departments led by elected officials. The former employees were supported in expressing the information. Commissioner Barb Esfeld said, “... if you don’t give (the public) knowledge, they don’t know these things.” In response to the idea that elected officials are “untouchable,” Esfeld noted that, “elected officials, including us, are touchable. We answer to every taxpayer.”

Story and photo by Becky Gillette, Great Bend Tribune