• Last modified 524 days ago (Dec. 15, 2022)


Former Peabody chief seeking $85,000 in back pay

Staff writer

Former Peabody police chief Bruce Burke is conferring with lawyers about $85,000 he says the city owes him.

Burke resigned in September after then-Mayor Tom Spencer said he wanted “druggies” out of the city — legally or illegally. Spencer also resigned, as did two police officers.

Burke says he is owed for 1,174 hours of accumulated compensatory time off, plus hours of 1,432 makeup shift days, and bonuses.

A Peabody police officer for more than 23 years and chief for more than 15, Burke provided the Record with a statement about his negotiations with the city.

“The city of Peabody and I met three times recently in an effort to reach an agreement on the many hours of overtime I was required to work and for which I was promised by the city I would be compensated but for which I have received no payment,” he wrote. “To date, no agreement has been reached. The matter has now been turned over to legal representatives.”

City clerk Taylor Ensminger declined to comment.

“I personally have not been involved,” she said.

Mayor Lindsay Hutchinson did not return a phone call.

Peabody also is looking for a full-time and a part-time police officer, a maintenance worker, and a public works superintendent.

Ten to 20 people, including some from outside Kansas, have applied for Burke’s old job, Ensminger said.

Interviews will begin Jan. 4,

“I’m compiling a list of questions right now,” she said.

The sheriff’s office also is seeking candidates for two full-time deputy positions.

Burke declined to say whether he planned to apply for a job there.

“I have no comment on that at this time,” he said.

Sheriff Jeff Soyez said Burke had not applied for a position.

Peabody officer Josh Wilson and part-time officer Robert Bartlett left their city jobs effective Sept. 25. That left one full-time officer, Caitlin Brunner, and she later resigned. She works El Dorado police.

Burke had fired another officer, Chad Voth, after Voth was charged with being drunk on duty.

Last modified Dec. 15, 2022