KHP Superintendent faces federal lawsuit over accused retaliation in harassment claims

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Two former Kansas Highway Patrol majors have sued the state and Col. Herman Jones, who leads the agency, according to our partners KMBC.

Majors Scott Harrington and Josh Kellerman said they are victims of retaliation for being fired. They supervised multiple female employees within the Kansas Highway Patrol who accused Col. Jones of sexual misconduct.

Majors Harrington and Kellerman were let go from the Kansas Highway Patrol in July; within the same timeframe the governor’s office cleared Col. Jones of multiple allegations including gender discrimination and misuse of the state aircraft.

Both Gov. Kelly’s office and Col. Jones said the dismissals were part of building a culture and structure within the agency that will help troopers best serve the people of Kansas.

“Those are personnel matters, and basically there was a need for change in administration, and that was the actions that we took,” Jones said in an interview with KSNT in July. “I wish them very much the best in their endeavors from here on out.”

According to the lawsuit, Maj. Harrington addressed the women’s complaints with Col. Jones and Assistant Superintendent Jason De Vore, as well as the Department of Human Resources and three separate Kansas legislators to “discuss and seek guidance on assisting female KHP employees and their complaints and other illegal actions by Jones and De Vore.”

Harrington and Kellerman also claim they were denied opportunities, disciplined unfairly and eventually terminated, according to KMBC.

KSNT News reached out to Col. Jones Saturday afternoon for comment and have not yet heard back.

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