TOPEKA Outgoing Attorney General Phill Kline has been accused of improperly using state computers in his failed re-election campaign this year and could face a $5,000 fine from the state Governmental Ethics Commission.
The commission plans to have a hearing Jan. 17 on the allegations, which it spelled out in a public notice after receiving information about e-mails promoting Kline's bid for a second term.
It is the second time within a year that Kline has faced sanctions from the commission. In March, it fined him $1,500 after he reported himself that a consulting firm working for his campaign had unintentionally but illegally solicited contributions from lobbyists.
The hearing in Kline's case is scheduled nine days after he is to step down as attorney general and becomes Johnson County district attorney, replacing Democrat Paul Morrison, the man who ousted him from statewide office.
The commission isn't pursuing a criminal prosecution against Kline, however. It has the power to put together a case and forward it to state or local prosecutors but frequently chooses to levy civil fines instead.