Basehor will pay $200,000 to fired city official

A former city administrator in Basehor will get a $200,000 settlement after being fired over what later proved to be unfounded allegations of financial wrongdoing.

The Basehor City Council this week agreed to the settlement and issued a formal apology to Mark Loughry, whose firing 11 months ago led to the recall of two council members and the mayor and the resignation of a third council member.

Loughry was hired last year as finance director in Raytown, Mo.; Basehor has not yet hired a replacement.

The former City Council members accused Loughry of improperly arranging to have extra health benefits added to his contract and falsely representing the salary he earned as a city employee in Hays. An apology read at Monday’s meeting said the city’s independent auditor had found the allegations to be false.

The settlement requires Loughry to drop plans he announced seven months ago to sue the city for defamation, breach of contract and due process violations.

None of the council members who voted to fire Loughry in September 2011 are on the council. Voters recalled Dennis Mertz and Iris Dysart in February, along with Mayor Terry Hill, who had supported Loughry. Council member Fred Box resigned after the recall election.

Hill was recalled over claims that he altered Loughry’s contract without informing the council.

City Council President Travis Miles read the apology, which also apologized to residents of the eastern Kansas town.

“You should expect better from your elected representatives, and we pledge to do our best to get things back on course and to bring professionalism back to this City Council,” Miles read.

Loughry attended Monday’s meeting but had little to say about the vote.

“I can’t really add much to that,” Loughry said.

The city’s liability insurance will pay for all but $5,000 of the settlement, but the city will also have to pay court, mediation and attorneys’ fees.