LARNED — Pawnee County Attorney John M. Settle has filed for re-election. Settle was first appointed to the office by Kansas Gov. Bill Graves in July of 1995. He has served as Pawnee County Attorney continuously since that time.
As Pawnee County Attorney, Settle is responsible for prosecuting all felony, misdemeanor, juvenile offender and child in need of care cases within the county as well as supervising an assistant county attorney and two support staff.
“I am looking forward to serving the citizens of Pawnee County as their County Attorney for many more years,” stated Settle. “I also hope to continue to work closely with our local community leaders as we attempt to prevent the state from further damaging the viability of Larned State Hospital’s various programs.”
During his tenure as Pawnee County Attorney, Settle has also continuously served as the Pawnee County Counselor. Settle’s County Counselor duties include representing all county offices on legal issues ranging from acquisition or construction contracts to workmen’s compensation and employment law issues.
From late June of 2009 to March 1, 2010, Settle spent many hours working on the community’s litigation efforts opposing the Central Kansas Medical Center’s plan to close St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Pawnee County’s local hospital.
That litigation ultimately saved the community’s critical access hospital and resulted in the acquisition of the facility by Pawnee County, which was then renamed Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH).
Vitally important to PVCH’s mission and central to the litigation was the facility’s retention of its designation as a Critical Access Hospital.
Settle’s involvement with PVCH has continued since then as he serves as legal adviser to the Pawnee County Commissioners regarding any PVCH issues as well as serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the hospital.
Settle also works closely with the commissioners, the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office and other local leadership on legislative issues related to each of the State of Kansas facilities which are a part of the state complex located west of Larned.
In the last decade, Settle has also coordinated the community’s lobby efforts in the Kansas State Legislature, working with the county’s lobbying firm as well as providing written and oral testimony to numerous legislative committees on issues that include Larned State Hospital administrative decisions as well as facility operational concerns.
“Sadly, because of the short-sighted policies of the Kansas Department of Aging, we have our work cut out for us to protect LSH,” said Settle. “Pawnee County is facing several serious threats in the next few years to not only the economic future of our citizens but also to their safety.”
Settle is also closely involved in prosecution issues on the state level. He is a 21-year member of Kansas’ prosecutors association, the Kansas County and District Attorneys’ Association (KCDAA), having served as its President in 2003 and on its board of directors for eight years.
Settle has worked closely with the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office, the Larned Police Department and other state law enforcement agencies during his 21 years in office. During that time, the district court case load which Settle’s office annually handles has consistently been one of the highest per capita case loads of any county in Kansas.
On the national level, Settle has traveled to Washington, D. C., to meet with the state’s United States senators and representatives in support of “Fight Crime; Invest in Kids,” an anti-crime organization focused on methods to support youth educational efforts and opportunities to reduce crimes committed by youth offenders.