Topeka — Bryan Brown, the consumer protection division director under former Attorney General Phill Kline, hopes soon to be fighting for what Brown called "pro-family" issues from a building that housed an abortion clinic that he used to picket.
In an interview Friday, Brown said he has been given first option to purchase the building in Fort Wayne, Ind., from a group of like-minded people called the Donegal Corridor, whose identities Brown declined to divulge.
Brown will be leading a "memorial" at the former abortion clinic on May 19, which will include an exorcism by request from a local Greek Orthodox church, he said.
Brown said he hoped to be able to raise the funds necessary to purchase the building and start a law firm and center that will focus on "pro-family" issues, such as helping crisis pregnancy centers, which oppose abortion.
He grew up in Fort Wayne and his parents live in the area. "I have a lot of friends who would like to see me return," he said.
Kline's hiring of Brown in 2003 to lead the consumer protection division caused a political storm.
Brown had been arrested a dozen times in the 1980s and 1990s while participating in anti-abortion protests including those during the 1991 "Summer of Mercy" rallies in Wichita.
He later got a law degree and worked for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy before Kline hired him.
During the 2006 election campaign, Democrat Paul Morrison criticized Kline's hiring of Brown. Kline defended Brown, comparing his civil disobedience to that of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
But Morrison noted that under Brown's tenure, restitution to consumers plummeted. Brown said figures from previous years were inflated, and that under his leadership the division stopped pursuing trifling complaints to focus on scams and fraud.
"I apologize to no one," Brown said of his performance in the attorney general's office.
When Morrison defeated Kline he publicly stated that Brown would not be kept around.
Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said the possibility that Brown will work out of the former abortion clinic was good news.
"It's perfect that the pro-life, pro-family movement is taking over the symbols of death," he said.
The abortion clinic in the building has moved its procedures to another part of Fort Wayne.