Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

Nuss ‘sincerely regrets’ school finance discussion with senators

Justice files formal response to complaint

June 1, 2006


— Justice Lawton Nuss said today he "sincerely regrets" his March 1 discussion with two senators over school finance litigation and "is remorseful that it occurred."

Nuss made the statement in a response filed on his behalf with the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, which is looking into possible ethics code violations. The commission had given Nuss until today to respond to the complaint.

The commission is investigating Nuss because of a lunch he had with Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, a longtime friend. The three had lunch at a Topeka restaurant, where the justice initiated a brief conversation about school finance proposals pending in the Legislature.

Nick Badgerow, an Overland Park attorney writing the response for Nuss, said the justice was only seeking answers to questions that could expedite the understanding of legislative progress on school finance in hopes of addressing them more quickly once before the court.

"Justice Nuss did not act with a dishonest or selfish motive," Badgerow wrote. "He apologizes for this lapse in judgment and for any violation of any canon as may be determined by the commission."

Nuss removed himself from the lawsuit April 20, after a reporter asked whether anyone associated with the court had discussed school finance with legislators. The commission launched its inquiry at the request of Chief Justice Kay McFarland.

In his response to the complaint, Nuss said he had been watching developments related to school funding and growing concerns that relationships were deteriorating between the Supreme Court and the Legislature.

For more on this story, see the 6News reports at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband's Channel 6 and pick up a copy of Friday's Journal-World.


Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 12 months ago

oh who cares anymore our schools are screwed already.

cellogrl 11 years, 12 months ago

I actually know the man personally. My mother used to work with him. Observer, I personally believe that it was an honest mistake. He is a fine and upstanding person. It seems as though he was having lunch with two of his good friends and it was sincerely a mistake. He is a very intelligent, and fair man and to just say those sorts of things about him without knowing anything about the man is slanderour. He is one of the most ethical and intelligent people I have ever met, and I RARELY say that about lawyers. So check yourself before you say things like that.

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