WICHITA, Kansas – A group that attempted to circulate a petition to have Sedgwick County Commission member Richard Ranzau recalled from office has taken its case to the Kansas Supreme Court.
The Committee to Recall Ranzau, Inc. filed the petition with Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett’s office in November. They claimed Ranzau had been “negligent in his duty to administer funds properly to our citizens.”
The group argues the Sedgwick County Commission’s decision to turn down $300,000 in federal funding was harmful to those served by the agency. The funding would have benefited the Women, Infants and Children program. Ranzau, who was commission chairman at the time, was a strong supporter of those cuts.
Bennett ruled two petitions to recall Ranzau did not meet the narrow grounds prescribed by state law for the recall of an elected official.
Neva Sedoreck Thiessen, Tom Eldon James and Chirley Benton-Kelley, who are part of the committee, now want the high court to “vacate” Bennett’s decision and compel him to allow an election to recall Ranzau.
In his ruling, Benett said, “The remedy is the ballot box, and if someone is dissatisfied by any particular official, a commissioner or the district attorney, the mechanism for challenging that is to go out and vote the next time.”