Misunderstood information from the Barton County Commission meeting on Monday morning gave the wrong impression that there was an investigation at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office which in fact there was not, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.
According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday the County Commission conducted a series of executive sessions to discuss personnel issues. At the request of the commissioners, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman and Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir were asked to remain in the executive session to advise the board.
“The previous week I had been asked to investigate a personnel issue involving a county employee who is not a member of the sheriff’s or clerk’s office. The clerk and I were there solely to assist the County Commission,” Bellendir said.
According to Bellendir, based on the information obtained during the course of an investigation, it appears the issue was not criminal in nature and is in fact a civil issue. Bellendir recommended to the Board of County Commissioners they should retain legal counsel.
The commissioners chose Monday morning to hire Kennedy, Berkley, Yarnevich and Williamson Chartered Law Firm from Salina.
“At least one local media outlet has erroneously reported the investigation concerned Sheriff’s office personnel. This is not correct,” Bellendir said. “Due to the nature of investigation I declined to make a comment yesterday. A reporter made an assumption the investigation concerned the Sheriff’s Office, this is incorrect.”