Research Lawyer Is Fired for Tweeting About ‘Naughty Boy’ Ex-AG During Ethics Hearing
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Nov 19, 2012, 01:33 pm CST
Updated: A research lawyer for a Kansas appeals court was fired on Monday after posting critical tweets about the state’s former anti-abortion attorney general during a supreme court ethics hearing.
The lawyer, Sarah Peterson Herr, posted tweets calling former Attorney General Phill Kline a “naughty, naughty boy” and criticizing his facial expression, the Associated Press, the Topeka Capital-Journal and WND report. “Why is Phil Klein [sic] smiling?” she wrote. “There is nothing to smile about, douchebag.” AP reported on her firing in a later story.
Herr predicted Kline would be disbarred for seven years as a result of charges claiming he or his subordinates misled others during an investigation of abortion providers. WND describes Herr’s tweets as “snarky” and “self-satisfied.”
The comments have since been removed. Herr sent the AP a statement of apology. “I didn’t stop to think that in addition to communicating with a few of my friends on Twitter I was also communicating with the public at large, which was not appropriate for someone who works for the court system,” Herr said. “I apologize that because the comments were made on Twitter—and thus public—that they were perceived as a reflection on the Kansas courts.”
Herr worked for Judge Christel Marquardt, who plans to retire in January.
The Kansas Supreme Court heard the ethics case against Kline on Thursday in a live broadcast of the proceedings. Five out of seven justices have recused themselves because some of the allegations concerned Kline’s conduct before the supreme court. Five lower court judges were tapped to help hear the case; Marquardt was not among them.
Updated on Nov. 20 to state that Herr has been fired.