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Sun May 5, 2019, 03:27 AM

Former Salina senator pads state salary with travel, food vouchers

The former Republican senator hired as Gov. Jeff Colyer’s regulatory fixer billed Kansas taxpayers thousands of dollars for driving to and from the job in Topeka after his official work station was quietly switched from a state office building near the Capitol to his residence in Salina.

Tom Arpke, who burnished a political reputation in the Senate and House as a fiscal conservative eager to expose spending he considered superfluous, was chosen in 2018 by Colyer to serve as the executive branch’s regulatory ombudsman. His task was to be a link between nine state agencies, the governor’s office and Kansas businesses confounded by the state’s bureaucracy.

On the job, Arpke bent the rules and demanded extra pay. He got caught.

Documents obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal through a request under the Kansas Open Records Act indicated Arpke’s annual salary was in the neighborhood of $80,000. One month after starting the job, top officials in the Colyer administration transitioned Arpke’s office location to West Iron Road in Salina.

The decision to designate Arpke’s office as his personal residence 112 miles away from the Curtis State Office Building adjacent to the Capitol was authorized by Shawn Sullivan, the Colyer administration’s chief operating officer and the state budget director under Gov. Sam Brownback, and executed by Sarah Shipman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration under both governors.

Read more: https://www.hdnews.net/news/20190430/former-salina-senator-pads-state-salary-with-travel-food-vouchers/1
(Hays Daily News)

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