Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Charges against ex-police chief dropped

June 6, 2007


Citing speedy trial concerns, a judge has dismissed charges against a former Edwardsville police chief.

Wyandotte County District Judge William Lyle dropped the charges against Steve Vaughan, saying the former chief had not gone to trial within 180 days of being charged. Vaughan was charged in August 2006 by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline in connection with a DUI ticket-fixing scandal.

Vaughan had been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit official misconduct and two counts of official misconduct. All the charges were misdemeanors, with combined penalties of up to 25 months in prison and fines of $5,500.

"The charges were dismissed, and we denied them from the outset," Vaughan's attorney, Ed Gillette, said.

The decision was made last week, Gillette said, but it wasn't filed until this week.

The attorney general's office filed notice of appeal Tuesday, spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said.

"The only reason this case has not been set for trial has been the necessity of dealing with the defendant's motions, and the state has not been responsible for the delays in having the hearings on those motions," Kevin Graham, assistant attorney general, said in a court filing.

In a related case, a preliminary hearing is set for July 18 for Robert Lane, an Edwardsville City Council member who was charged at the same time as Vaughan.

Lane, a Kansas City, Kan., police officer, faces two counts of felony acceptance of a bribe, aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim, misdemeanor conspiracy to commit official misconduct, felony official misconduct, and two counts of misdemeanor compounding of a crime. Lane has been suspended pending the outcome of the case.

- Jesse Truesdale, staff writer for the Bonner Springs Chieftain, can be reached at (913) 422-2169.


KansasMeadowlark 10 years, 10 months ago

Legal faux paux by Attorney General's Office?

Charges against police chief dismissed

"The bottom line is, we sat back and waited based on the fact that there were three different assistant attorneys general in this case, plus a number of judges," he said."...The state still has the burden of bringing the defendant to trial within 180 days. It's incumbent on the state to seek a new judge or move the date up."

What would the press have done if Kline had done this? Isn't the press being kind to AG Paul Morrison in this case when there would have been bloodletting if Kline did this?

purplesage 10 years, 10 months ago

There are too many to count who have been charged and not gone to trial. Because the AG's office had a changing of the guard is not an excuse. The statutes of limitations are not up on this case and the general public can be made to wait 3 years, even 5 years for a case to go to trial. Another case of police preference. No difference between this and how they drive with impunity, how chases that endanger the public are "within policy", or even how 90%+ of shootings are "justified". No wonder these guys act like cowboys. For them, it is the largely lawless, somewhat wild west.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

Paul Morrison touts his skill as a prosecutor and can't even get the case to trial? Apparently his skills as an administrator leave something to be desired.

What concerns me is whether or not this was accidental. Morrison seems to have a habit of playing favorites, and this is pretty basic law school 101 from some pretty talented lawyers. I'm telling you, Sebelius and her Republicrat pals are ruining the Democratic Party. I really can't see this happening with Chris Biggs.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

Incidentally, I disagree that we should get rid of laws that force the state to provide a speedy trial, particularly on misdemeanors.

While these charges were quite serious and involved the public trust, the state should not be allowed to hold up someone's life for a lengthy period over issues that are, by definition, relatively trivial. Perhaps any issue involving the public trust should be a felony. That would make more sense.

maxcrabb 10 years, 10 months ago

Since this trial never happend, and his partner has yet to be tried, how do you know they're guilty?

Charges should not be read as an admission or ruling of guilt.

I see alot of that happening.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

In a way this is a catch 22 for this officer. While on the one hand the charges have been dismissed and he is free to get on with his life, this man's career as a law enforcement officer is over - guilty, or innocent. What police department will hire a man accused of official misconduct who only beat the rap on a technicality?

Even now, he still faces additional attorney's fees to fight the appeal, and that can be incredibly expensive. That process will take about 2 years and there is still the possibility that the charges could be reinstated by the appellate court and he's back to step one.

At best, his law enforcement career is over, he will owe thousands in legal fees and will be in a legal limbo for the better part of at least two years. That's if he "wins".

All of us have been victimized by the incompetence of Paul Morrison's handling of this case.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

So Morrison can be an incompetent fop as long as someone thinks he's better than his predecessor? If that's the standard for the top law enforcement officer in the state of Kansas, we're really in trouble. Maybe next time a real Democrat will run for office.

purplesage 10 years, 10 months ago

A "real Democrat" can't win in Kansas. I'm glad of that, but I don't like these party jumping, wishy-washy all talk and no substance republicrats any more than you true Democrats do.

Incidentally, the only thing "wrong" with Phill Kline was the crusade against abortion practice in Kansas. Sam Brownback, a true champion of human rights, is enduring the same kind of name calling and insults. Sad that it degenerates to that.

Terry Jacobsen 10 years, 10 months ago

Paul Morrison is not a democrat, he just couldn't win without cheating the system. Why does it surprise you that he is an influence peddling cheater now that he is in office? Wake up and smell the coffee folks, a cheater is a cheater is a cheater.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 10 months ago

Why did Sebelius think these guys like Morrison and Parkinson weren't welcome in their own party? Now they're in the Democratic Party and Sebelius is getting reamed for the scams these guys were running as Republicans and now we're embarrassed by a "Democratic" AG who can't get to the courthouse on time. Two names, Chris Biggs for AG, Dennis McKinney for Lt. Governor. Neither one of these guys would have us selling out our medical system to Missouri business interests and screwing up cases on grounds they should have learned in their first course on criminal law.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

KKKline fads back and fumbells the ball again. Have another beer Phill you are exempt in The Dot.

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