Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Dawn Kuhn Really Dawn Kuhn?

Why is the City of Shawnee paying councilmember Dawn Kuhn as Dawn White?

The Kansas Policy Institute has a web site and on the site they publish information about various Kansas government entities.  For selected cities payroll information is published showing the employee’s name, position title and pay for the year designated.

For the years 2009 & 2010 (the only years showing for Shawnee) the site does not show Dawn Kuhn as a councilmember, but does show Dawn White.  All other councilmember names were correct.  When they were queried as to the possibility of a mistake, the response was that they used information as provided by the city under a KORA (Kansas Open Records Act) request.

Without going into an item by item breakdown of what occurred next (I do have the backup documents) the city confirmed that the information that was on the web site was the information they (the city) had provided.  Additionally, the city confirmed that if I asked for the same information, that I would be given the same listing.  Therefore, that means that White is who is showing up on city payroll records.

Let’s look at facts:  Dawn Kuhn filed to run for public office as Dawn Kuhn.  She is a registered voter under that name.  She has taken the oath of office (verbally and in writing) as Dawn Kuhn.  Her name is on the tax rolls for her property as such.  She votes on the council on city issues under that name.  She makes motions and seconds motions under that name. Most likely (since she is a registered voter) her driver’s license is probably Kuhn also.

Now, let’s look at what Kuhn does for a living in her non-governmental working environment.  She is a Vice President/Banking Center Manager for Bank Midwest. And that shows on both the bio information she has submitted, and on her business card.  Common sense is that in that capacity she has to from time to time sign various documents as an officer of the bank.  So now the questions beg to be answered: Would a bank pay an officer under one name but let that person identify themselves under another name?  Would a bank pay a person under one name and allow that person to sign on behalf of the bank under another name?  Unlike government agencies, banks are not subject to KORA so there is no way I can ask them.  But somebody needs to.  If she is getting paid by the bank as Kuhn (which would make sense) then that brings up other questions.

Is this deception?  Is it fraud?  Or is it OK?  I don’t know, but I think this situation needs to be reviewed by both the JoCo Election Office and the JoCo DA’s office.

Sidebar:  As of today the 2011 information is now on that web site and it still shows Dawn M White.