Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Judge won’t reinstate abortion case charges

Kline says special prosecutor will continue work

December 27, 2006

Advertisement

— A Sedgwick County judge refused Wednesday to reinstate criminal charges against Wichita abortion provider George Tiller, only hours after outgoing Attorney General Phill Kline announced he would appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.

Kline had filed 30 misdemeanor charges against Tiller, accusing the doctor of performing 15 illegal late-term abortions in 2003 on patients ages 10 to 22 and not properly reporting details to state health officials.

Judge Paul W. Clark dismissed the charges over a jurisdictional issue Friday, less than a day after Kline filed them. Kline then asked Clark to reinstate the charges, but the judge rejected that request during a hearing Wednesday.

Hours earlier, Kline announced that he would appoint a special prosecutor - Wichita attorney Don McKinney, a Democrat and brother of House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, D-Greensburg. Kline said he chose Don McKinney because he's a well-respected attorney and a Democrat.

"This appointment of an independent special prosecutor will remove this investigation from a highly charged political process," Kline said during a news conference.

Kline also said he would have the special prosecutor move forward with the investigation even if Clark ruled against him. "There are numerous options," Kline said when asked how the prosecutor would proceed.

Kline's announcement and Clark's decision came just 13 days before Kline, a Republican and strong abortion opponent, leaves office as attorney general. Kline lost the Nov. 7 general election to abortion rights Democrat Paul Morrison.

During Kline's campaign against Morrison, McKinney castigated a newspaper for not aggressively investigating 15-year-old, unproven allegations of sexual harassment against Morrison.

Kline acknowledged Morrison could abolish the special prosecutor's job upon taking office Jan. 8, but said he was asking Morrison not to do that.

A spokesman for Morrison did not have any immediate comment.

However, Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston said she would not allow a special prosecutor to file charges against Tiller.

"If somebody is going to prosecute, it's going to be this office," she said, noting she has asked Kline for all the documents in the case.

In court, Foulston argued that Kline didn't have the authority to file a complaint against Tiller without her consent, which she said she wouldn't give.

"This district attorney is being usurped by some out-of-towner who's on his way out," Foulston told the judge.

Kline argued that his office has broad authority and doesn't need Foulston's consent to pursue a case.

Ruling from the bench Wednesday, Clark said he agreed with Foulston that she must give her approval for Kline to prosecute, and he concluded that she did not.

Kline has said he consulted with Foulston before filing the criminal charges Thursday afternoon and that she did not object to his plans.

After the hearing, Foulston told reporters that she never acquiesced.

Kline said he will let the special prosecutor decide whether to appeal.

He criticized Clark's decision, saying neither the judge nor the district attorney had reviewed any of the evidence. But, he added, "This is not unexpected."

Critics such as Morrison have accused Kline of letting a personal, ideological agenda drive his decisions. Abortion opponents have argued that Tiller, to avoid prosecution, had helped finance advertising aimed at defeating Kline, and they have accused Foulston, also a Democrat, of trying to protect the doctor.

Comments

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

Well HOORAY!!! Is there any intelligent person who still does not see Phill Kline for the jerk and idiot that he is. Outside of Johnson County, that is. This judge has been quite clear on opposing the lame duck grandstading of this contemptable individual that the citizens of Kansas, indeed, a majority of the citizens of Johnson County rejected. Let's all hope this dolt is consigned to the dust bin of history, he is a stain on the judicial functioning of the State of Kansas with his politically-motivated antics.

8 years ago

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

peter56321 8 years ago

It's good to see Kline has found yet another way to flush my money down the drain for the sake of his witch-hunt.

sublime 8 years ago

WOW shadower,you seem really hostile this evening.

KS 8 years ago

Okay! You don't have to agree with Kline, and I am not saying I do, but gosh folks, you really are showing your intelligence with the name calling.

Sean Livingstone 8 years ago

Glad that I didn't vote for him, yeahhhhh, we made a right choice of throwing him out.

Annie 8 years ago

Hello??? Why is everyone so concerned about HOW this case was filed, and not the MERITS OF THE CASE? Does it really matter who files the charges? Why would Foulston dismiss the charges on some power trip unless she had a vested interest in protecting the abortion doctor accused?

If charges were filed against a DOCTOR for breaking the law, obviously there is some questionable activity going on - especially when there are 10 year old girls involved.

Obviously, this doc has some friends in high places - intent on protecting him at all costs.

fletch 8 years ago

Yeah, forcing in the incoming Democratic AG to fire/ignore the Minority Leader's brother isn't political at all.

Phil Kline: Killing America One Day At A Time

Rick Oglesby 8 years ago

A case that took three years to review should just be handed over to a DA for another three years or more. The truth is the DA and the judge have ties to a killer named Tiller. If he broke the law it seems most of you think he should get a free pass. I wonder what you all would think if Mr. party switcher Morrison files these same charges then will you call him names and show you hate for those enforce the law. What would it be like with out law, no rules do as you please, ponder that.

MyName 8 years ago

Why would Foulston dismiss the charges on some power trip unless she had a vested interest in protecting the abortion doctor accused?

Maybe because she realizes that the charges are baseless and only filed because of political motivations?

gabbo 8 years ago

I don't know if you are watching South Park right now, justthetruth, but it sounds as you have an airtight conspiracy theory... just like 9-11. However, the fact remains that Morrison will not pursue any of the ridiculus pandering to the nuts, and only switched parties to relieve the state of Kansas of a boil named Phill.

KS 8 years ago

justthetruth - Good post. Common sense prevails there.

MyName 8 years ago

justthetruth: If Tiller broke the law, then why can't Kline get the Sedgwick Co. DA to back him up on this? If Kline's case is so strong, why hasn't he even been able to get charges filed until the 11th hour of his term as Attorney General?

If the charges against Tiller were politically motivated, then it is only right that they be defeated in the political arena and not even given the legitimacy of a day in court. I don't believe that is giving anyone a "free pass".

Curious 8 years ago

I believe I read somewhere that the Kansas Supreme Court has looked at this case twice and found enough evidence to continue.

I recently visited a country where money or friendship has been very influential in the courts. They are working hard to change it and have fired half of their judges in the last year. A friend had his day in civil court and thought it went well. He thought he could trust the judge to not take "donations".

Guys, you really do NOT want to go there. The courts MUST be impartial -- no agendas, no politics, no opinions even. Just the law as written.

Agendas are what we ELECT people for. You can hire and fire that with your vote. You can even get the laws changed if someone is prosecuting an offence that is no longer needed or desirable. Morrison had an agenda -- anti Kline, pro-abortion. And enough people agreed, I have no problem there.

If MONEY or AGENDA influences the people who preside over our justice, some people get a pass out of court even if guilty. While others will never have justice done because they are not on the right side of the cash flow or the agenda.

Curious 8 years ago

When the Sedgewick County prosecutor can give the appearance of judge shopping to ensure a favorable outcome . . .

WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE, GUYS!

Today it is child abuse and baby killing, tomorrow it might be something important!

Curious 8 years ago

When the Sedgewick County prosecutor gives even the appearance of judge shopping to ensure a favorable outcome . . .

WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE, GUYS!

Today it is child abuse and baby killing, tomorrow it might be something important!

Rick Oglesby 8 years ago

Posted by Curious (anonymous) on December 27, 2006 at 9:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When the Sedgewick County prosecutor gives even the appearance of judge shopping to ensure a favorable outcome . . .

WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE, GUYS!

Today it is child abuse and baby killing, tomorrow it might be something important!

Well curious, killings babies is important. And as you might know curious this whole thing is about money and the stain left on Kansas as so many come to Kansas where the you can kill your baby if you are having and off day. You know the court had all of these records for all most the three years. They know there is a case. The DA has no idea what there is and it would take a long time to get it reviewed any legal mind would say you have the case please file if there is a case.

gabbo 8 years ago

justthetruth,

Please find the ability to communicate your position before making idiotic claims. Punctuation, complete sentences, etc.

Thanks.

moxxie_mama 8 years ago

You all do realize half of these charges are only clerical right? This has nothing to do with reporting child abuse cases, he was never even charged with not reporting abuse. And I find it really hard to believe that he wouldn't follow the reporting law on filing the KDHE when he does a late term abortion.

And as for the other 15 charges of illegal abortions, the Kansas Supreme Court already ruled that mental health exceptions are legal reasons. And Kline keeps ignoring that. So there isn't any merit to half of them at all right there.

That would be like Kline filing a criminal charge against a doctor for doing a c-section that the patient wanted. It's perfectly legal, no merit to the case, so why would a judge allow it to go forward?

bytheway 8 years ago

Interesting argument. I just don't like Kline and I feel like I am anti-abortion but I believe in women's rights. I can't get past how I don't like Kline. The man is a "born-again" Christian. I thought either you were or you weren't. I don't even want to get started in the religious area. Good grief can't we find anyone to be in office who doesn't use God as their crutch? According to the 2nd of the Ten Commandments according to Catholic teachings: "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name." at Wikipedia.com it also states "this commandment prohibits not just swearing...participating in occult practices." I think with careful review of this last statement you could call a political campaign that uses God's name to their benefit to rally individuals to their needs which could be looked at occult practices. I have a week argument but I imagine some of you will probably get what I am going after.
Have a great night and Happy New Year!!!

Curious 8 years ago

We found one who doesn't use God as his crutch . . . Morrison uses Tiller as his campaign crutch. Wonder which crutch might be worse in your estimation?

Guys, you don't mind when the laws you DON'T like are tested through the courts. The anti abortion laws were tested for years until finally they were ALL overturned at the Supreme Court. Now when someone tests the abortion statutes it is "foul play." You can't have it both ways. That is how the system works! An attorney general is elected and he does what he is elected to do. Either direction! Get over it! You have your attorney general now. I hope you won't find me criticizing Morrison for anything personal. Call me on it, if I cross that line. But I will criticize him for actions I do not agree with!

His campaign contributions are public record. And I can disagree, just as you found Kline's contributions suspect. What I have found is that "birds of a feather flock together." There are very few actually corrupt politicians whose opinions change by campaign contributions or fingers in the breeze. The rest receive contributions because that is where their heart is all on its own.

Morrison received help from Tiller because they both believe in baby killing. Kline received help from those who don't believe in baby killing. Simple as that.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.