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Former Kansas AG Accused of Ethics Missteps in Abortion Probes

Posted Jan 20, 2010 9:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An ethics complaint accuses former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline of misleading judges and selectively presenting information to a grand jury during his investigations of abortion providers.

Tom Condit, a lawyer for Kline, said in a statement that the complaint by the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys is “is entirely politically motivated,” according to the Kansas City Star and the Wichita Eagle.

The complaint alleges:

• Kline told the state supreme court that he wasn’t seeking the identities of women visiting abortion provider George Tiller (later killed by a gunman at his church). Yet Kline’s staff took down license plate numbers of clinic visitors and tried to obtain the driver names from state agencies, according to a summary of the complaint in the Eagle. He also subpoenaed the guest list at a hotel often used by patients, according to the Star's account of the complaint.

• Kline appeared on The O’Reilly Factor after the state supreme court told him to "resist any impulse to further publicize the respective legal positions," according to the account of the complaint in the Eagle.

• Kline selectively presented information to a grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood, according to the summary in the Star.

A hearing on the allegations is scheduled for May 26.

Kline currently teaches law at Liberty University in Virginia. The school’s dean, Mathew Staver, told the Wichita Eagle that the ethics complaint won’t affect Kline’s status at Liberty University. "Frankly, it looks more like a political witch hunt than an attempt to enforce rules and regulations," Staver told the newspaper.

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