Labor & Employment Law
Kansas Agog Over AG Sex Scandal
Posted Dec 12, 2007 6:57 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
An admitted extramarital affair is the least of it. A longtime employee in the Johnson County, Kan., district attorney's office says she was sexually harassed by the new state attorney general as part of a two-year affair that involved courthouse trysts and alleged interference with cases being prosecuted by her current boss.
Amidst calls for his resignation, Paul Morrison, the accused AG, admits the extramarital affair with Linda Carter, but denies her other accusations and has asked for an independent investigation, according to the Kansas City Star. Meanwhile, Carter has filed an employment discrimination complaint concerning Morrison with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The situation is a bit complex, from the standpoint of those outside the state: Carter and Morrison began their affair before he became attorney general, when he himself was the Johnson County district attorney and hence her boss. However, it then continued even after Morrison became AG in January, and resulted, Carter claims, in Morrison using her to interfere in cases being prosecuted by her new boss, Phill Kline, who succeeded Morrison as Johnson County district attorney.
Morrison has asked Stanton Hazlett, who works for the state Supreme Court as Kansas disciplinary administrator, to look into Carter's allegations, and it appears that Hazlett may already have begun doing so even before Morrison's request, the newspaper says.
However, Hazlett's jurisdiction is limited to attorney disciplinary matters, notes state Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe who is a lawyer. “The allegations are much broader than just merely whether he violated his professional ethics.”
Even Morrison's supporters appear daunted by the allegations, but he says he won't resign, the newspaper reports.
“The allegations that I attempted to influence ongoing cases or improperly gain information are absolutely false,” Morrison tells the Star. “I will cooperate completely and openly with the disciplinary administrator to resolve this matter once and for all.”
Kansas City Star (editorial): "Don't try to hang in there, Paul; Kansas needs a new attorney general."
McCook Daily Gazette: "Woman sues Kansas attorney general."
Associated Press: "Kansas: Attorney General Admits Affair."