There’s a Hole in the Boat

by Charlotte O’Hara

3rd District JoCo County Commissioner

April 29, 2024

Note: All of the following information has been compiled by my research through Kansas Open Records Act request, information gleaned from Library Board meeting and Library Board sources.

The JoCo Chief Legal Counsel has to this date not responded to my list of questions on this issue. I will write a follow-up when additional information is available.

How can this happen?

For 22 years there has been an “anomaly,” an error, a misappropriation or a mega oops in not one set of county budget accounting books, but two: the Johnson County General Fund and the Johnson County Library Fund. These are two separate taxing authorities with separate budgets.

This “anomaly”, oops, error or misappropriation totals nearly $5.4 million and represents monies paid from the General Fund to cover certain expenses of the Library Fund’s expenses from 2003 through April 2024, according to the Kansas Open Record Act (KORA) response to my request.

It began in 2002, however this information is not archived and not available. The costs were for Library employees’ supplemental retirement contributions and accrued sick and vacation days totally $5,387,333.30 which was paid from the General Fund account and not the separate tax supported Library Fund.

During the April 2, 2024 Library Budget Committee meeting, Johnson County management staff, requested that the Library staff to assume 50% of the cost of the supplemental retirement match beginning in the 2025 budget cycle ($250,000) and to assume the entire estimated $500,000 cost in the 2026 budget cycle as a way to address this 22 year “anomaly”. However, county management staff has not requested reimbursement from the Library Fund to address the entire cost.

You, the public, should take note that addressing this “anomaly” or misappropriation was not made through the Johnson County Board of County Commission. No, this was all done at the staff level. Thankfully the Library staff brought this through the correct channels of the Library Board’s budget process….although obscured from the public, as per video of the April 11, 2024 Library Board meeting at the 1 hour, 42 minute mark.

How can a Library employee’s salary, health benefits, KPERS contributions, and FICA payroll costs be paid by tax revenue collected through the Library’s taxing authority; yet that same employee’s supplemental retirement match, and accrued sick and vacation days payout be paid by tax revenue collected through the Johnson County General Fund?

According to a 1992 AG’s opinion No. 92-112, 1992 WL 613475:

“The Johnson county board of county commissioners is prohibited from diverting money from one fund to another, in the absence of a budget amendment, or spending tax levy revenues for a purpose that is not in accordance with the levy.”

So many questions and currently no answers as to the how and whys of the “anomaly”, the big ooooops, or misappropriation. The bigger question though is how many other holes are there in the ledger of the Good Ship Johnson County?

22 years and counting…….perhaps my calls for an internal financial audit instead of the current performance audit should be taken seriously by the majority of the BOCC?

This is an extremely fluid situation. As noted at the beginning of this article, I will write a follow-up when more information is available.


  1. Great job Charlotte. I am so appreciative of your service to the Johnson County community. I don’t know many people that could survive the treatment that you endure serving on that Godless board. Do know that you have countless people that greatly admire you for your selfless service. God Bless you and I hope many will join me in continually lifting you up in prayer. Please continue being the mighty warrior that you are.

  2. This cannot be brushed under the rug. We have got to find a way to get to the bottom of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *