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Johnson County names new director of corrections

Assistant County Manager Maury Thompson today announced the appointment of Robert Sullivan as the new director of Johnson County Department of Corrections.

Sullivan has been serving as the interim head since longtime director Betsy Gillespie retired in October after 10 years with Johnson County Government.

“I am pleased that Robert has decided to build on his already well-established criminal justice and corrections career by becoming our new head of the corrections department,” Thompson said. “Since joining Johnson County in 2015, Robert has worked with federal, state and local agencies to implement innovative reforms to the county’s criminal justice system. He will continue to build on the county’s already forward-thinking approaches as director of corrections.”

Prior to his interim corrections appointment, Sullivan served as criminal justice coordinator in the county manager’s office where he managed data-driven justice initiatives and other major projects to appropriately divert clients into mental health and other services that deter incarceration when other assistance can provide a better solution.

“Criminal justice reform has been a major focus of my work here in Johnson County, and I’m eager to bring that level of understanding to this new role,” Sullivan said. “Across the country, local agencies, including Johnson County, are working with their community partners and with state and federal authorities to bring actionable change to criminal justice. I’m eager to build on the success of Betsy Gillespie’s long tenure here in the county.”

Sullivan’s career in criminal justice spans 20 years, including time as a probation officer and director of community corrections for the 5th Judicial District in Emporia, Kansas. During his tenure with the 5th Judicial District of Kansas, Sullivan was commissioned as a reserve deputy sheriff with the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and earned a silver award for exceptional police service from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police.

Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emporia State University.

Additional information on Johnson County Department of Corrections is available online.

A photo of Sullivan is available for download.

Media Contacts

Lori Sand
Senior Public Information Officer
Office: 913-715-8572
Cell: 816-377-6528

Jody Hanson
Director of Public Affairs and Communication
Office: 913-715-0730
Cell: 913-626-5482