Politics & Government

Workers at shooting scene had no security, union chief says

Police give details about shooting at Kansas Department of Revenue

Police investigate a shooting at the Kansas Department of Revenue at 1800 N. Amidon Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (Video by Fernando Salazar)
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Police investigate a shooting at the Kansas Department of Revenue at 1800 N. Amidon Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (Video by Fernando Salazar)

The head of an employee union that represents Department of Revenue workers criticized the state for not providing security after a tax agent was shot multiple times Tuesday afternoon.

Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said he talked to workers who were in the Wichita tax office at the time of the shooting and they described the scene to him.

“There was a disgruntled taxpayer who went in and wanted to meet with one of the compliance agents ... got upset and shot one of their co-workers, Choromanski said. “There was some kind of dispute and he shot one of the Department of Revenue employees multiple times.

He said the employees were badly shaken.

“There were bullet holes in the cubicle walls,” Choromanski said.

He said there was no security for workers inside the facility and they had complained about that to management.

The person who was shot, tax agent Cortney Holloway, was in the tax compliance division, where employees often are required to seize people’s property to pay their back taxes and emotions run high.

“There’s no security in that building,” Choromanski said. “There’s nobody to screen you to see if you have any weapons on you. There’s no metal detector, nothing. You just walk in. You can meet with anybody you have an appointment with or whoever’s on call on lobby duty to meet with people in the lobby.”

He said the work can get even more dangerous when workers have to go to people’s homes to take their property.

“A lot of the same people that work in that building go out into the field to enforce tax warrants, and they have no security when they go out,” he said.

“Many of our guys feel unsafe going out into the field without some type of security escorting them whenever they need to repossess a boat, a car, or foreclose on a home,” he said.

Dion Lefler: 316-268-6527, @DionKansas

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