Archive for Thursday, October 26, 2006

Morrison’s accuser says she received no money

October 26, 2006


— A woman who filed suit in 1991 alleging sexual harassment by Johnson County Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison, now the Democratic nominee for Kansas attorney general, said Wednesday she received no money when her lawsuit was dismissed by mutual agreement.

Kelly Summerlin, 49, also told Kansas City, Mo., television station KMBC she had been unaware until recently that Republican Atty. Gen. Phill Kline had made her case against Morrison a campaign issue.

Summerlin worked in Morrison's office as victim-witness coordinator until she was fired in February 1991. In lawsuits filed in March 1991 and in May 1992, she said Morrison had made a pass at her in late 1990 while his staff was at a bar celebrating the conviction of a serial killer.

Kline, who called a news conference last week to publicize the Summerlin case, has since launched a campaign commercial with actors reading from court documents in the case.

When Summerlin and Morrison agreed in early 1993 to dismiss her case, they signed a two-paragraph agreement saying each side would cover its own legal costs.

Kline and his staff have described that agreement as a "settlement," a term commonly used in legal circles to denote some kind of payment.

But in an interview aired Wednesday night on KMBC, Summerlin denied that any money had changed hands. Asked if she had received any payment or anything of value, Summerlin said, "No."

Summerlin appeared in shadow in the televised interview so that her face could not be seen.

"I did not allow the Kline campaign to use my case," she said. "The first I heard about it was when my husband saw it on TV. I knew nothing about it."

Morrison has said repeatedly that he fired Summerlin for poor job performance.

In January 1992, Morrison signed a sworn statement acknowledging having told Summerlin that she looked attractive, but added, "She took the comment to mean much more than I had intended." He said he apologized the following day "for the comment and any misinterpretation she may have made."

Morrison's campaign issued a statement Wednesday saying: "We are sorry Phill Kline has dragged this campaign to a new low by repeating a 15-year-old false claim. I will not allow this campaign to be dragged any lower."

Summerlin said it was her idea to come forward with her story, saying Morrison was misrepresenting the case to the public, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported in a story for today's editions.

"I'm not here for Mr. Kline," she said. "I'm here because what I said then was the truth. It's still the truth. I didn't bring this up. I'm going to respond to it."

Kline's campaign orchestrated the interviews with selected media outlets at a Johnson County media company.

Summerlin conducted the interviews on the conditions that her married name, hometown or workplace not be made public. The Kline campaign said such information should be withheld to protect the woman's family.


helix 11 years, 7 months ago

What does this story have to do with the job of Attorney General? Here are your choices: A) a desperate man trying to hang on to his power by dragging everyone and their mother through the mud, who has precious little legal experience and uses their position to pursue the wrong priorities. B) a man who has dedicated his entire adult life to fighting crime and keeping Kansans safe.

dirkleisure 11 years, 7 months ago

yes, that is a much different story. especially the part where is says there was no settlement, and where she wants to move on from the whole thing.

amazingly, that's what the AP story says, too.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

onceinawhile: "Even though it is disturbing to learn about this case against Morrison, I still support him for attorney general."

That kind of thing is not uncommon. A person is fired by her boss and then months later suddenly "remembers" something that happened when she was drunk at a party.

Paul Morrison has proved himself a gentleman in the way he respectfully dealt with this person then and continues to deal with her now.

For Phill Kline to use this 15-year-old dismissed non-issue in the way he has only continues to demonstrate Kline's dishonesty and despicable ethics.

BigDog 11 years, 7 months ago

I guess it is convenient to leave out the part where she says it did happen. She says she only dropped it because she wasa single mother and was trying to go to nursing school. She only says she wanting to move on because she didn't have the time and needed to get on with her life.

No where in the article does she say it didn't happen. Actually quite the opposite.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

It seems Phil Kline has some ethics problems. This party has a history of seeking out or making up sex scandals when it cannot win on the issues.

Unfortunately so long as there is not a witness or past history of such behavior this will be a her word against his kind of scenario. The commission responsible for investigation apparently could not produce any substance to corrobate.

abe_froman 11 years, 7 months ago

It's a public record. He didn't have to ask her. Although, it certainly would have been nice.

I'm still trying to figure this out though. Kline made a statement that Paul Morrison needed to tell the public what happened that night so many years ago.

However, Kline has made no effort to release the report compiled by the FBI when going after the U.S. Attorney position.

Maybe they could make a trade. Morrison will dish when Kline does.

onceinawhile 11 years, 7 months ago

Even though it is disturbing to learn about this case against Morrison, I still support him for attorney general.

Kline has no morals or values whatsoever. He has reached a new low. Kansans should be disguisted he is spending so much time on this 15-year-old sexual harrassment case, but is ignoring the real issues.

I think the fact that Kline has tried to obtain private medical records of woman around the state is just, if not more, disturbing.

BigDog 11 years, 7 months ago

Much is not written in the Associated Press story ..... a much different story written in Topeka Capital Journal

Phillbert 11 years, 7 months ago

So let me get this straight. Phill Kline's OWN WITNESS says there was no money exchanged, no settlement, directly contradicting what he's been claiming for a week now?

I don't know which is worse, that or the fact that the woman he's dragged through this found out he was running an ad when she saw it on TV! He didn't even ask her!

If anyone should be sued for harrassment it should be Phill.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh how neocon REPUBLICANS LOVE talking about SEX over the real issues when they are losing. It happens every election period somewhere in the USA.

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