Two complaints filed against the Gardner City Council are under investigation by the Johnson County District Attorney’s office.
The complaints were filed in response to a September council meeting: one filed by Adrianna Meder, planning commission member, the other by The Gardner News.
Meder confirmed her complaint has been received by the DA’s office. “Yes.  I have been contacted by an investigator with the Johnson County DA’s office,” she said. “This matter is being taken seriously and handled in a professional manner. I appreciate the DA’s office for taking quick action to open an investigation in a timely fashion.”
Meder made the complaint following an invitation from Jim Pruetting, city administrator, to attend an executive session, although she is neither an elected official or employee. “The Gardner City Council is inviting you to participate in an executive session during the September 8th city council meeting to provide you the opportunity to respond to allegations of misconduct that may result in a vote by the council to remove you from the Planning Commission for cause.  This matter is being conducted in an executive session due to the nature of the discussion being directly related to a personnel matter. If you have any questions or concerns about your participation in this matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me,” the text read.
At a previous meeting, Rich Melton, council member, had questioned a post Meder made to her social media page and possible involvement in personnel issues at about the same time three planning department employees left.
On Sept. 8, Meder declined to attend the closed session but stood before the council and offered to answer any questions. The council was silent, and no action was taken when they later returned from executive session.
Kristi Bergeron, Johnson County District Attorney’s office, confirmed the complaint filed by The Gardner News had been received and assigned to an investigator.
The complaint was that council recessed into three executive sessions Sept. 8 in violation of AGO 2018-1, an attorney general’s opinion that indicates a motion is incomplete if it merely summarizes the three statutory elements but omits other content as to why the motion was being made.