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Overland Park city manager had started termination process for Chief Donchez before he resigned, city says

Frank Donchez
Posted at 3:52 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 18:53:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Overland Park City Manager Lori Curtis Luther had already started the termination process for former Police Chief Frank Donchez before he resigned, the city said Friday.

Luther deemed Donchez's heated conversation with Sheila Albers "inappropriate" and grounds for termination, a city spokesperson said in an email to KSHB 41 I-Team reporter Cameron Taylor.

The heated conversation between Albers and Donchez happened during an Overland Park City Council meeting on Monday.

Albers has long criticized Donchez and the way the Overland Park Police Department handled the fatal shooting of her son, John Albers.

John Albers was shot and killed in 2018 by a former police officer.

Donchez initially said the officer Clayton Jenison, followed protocol, but a report from a probe into to the shooting contradicted that statement. Jenison was cleared in the shooting and paid $70K to resign.

After the conversation between Albers and Donchez, she emailed Luther and Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog to report the conversation.

"After discussing and confirming the conversation with Donchez, she began the termination process. At that time, Donchez resigned," a city spokesperson said in an email. "Termination involves appeal and due process rights. A resignation resulted in his immediate dismissal."

Donchez told The Washington Post he resigned for personal reasons.

Albers released a statement to KSHB 41 News after finding out the news.

"It is unbelievable. I did not foresee my email causing this outcome, nor did I expect the release of the information today," she said. "Both events were completely unexpected. Steve and I are both looking forward to the new leadership in Overland Park. I am 100% confident that our City Manager Lori Luther and Mayor Skoog will go through a rigorous process and choose the right person as our new chief.”