Archive for Saturday, December 6, 2008

Harsh judgment

A Kansas Supreme Court order issued Friday should be the final nail in Phill Kline’s political coffin

December 6, 2008


It’s unclear what Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline plans to do after he leaves his current post next month, but an opinion released Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court should prevent him from ever again serving in an elected or appointed public office.

The court’s scathing opinion pulled no punches in its disdain for Kline’s handling of client patient records he seized from Planned Parenthood of Kansas while he was Kansas attorney general. Kline not only removed the records from the AG’s office when he became Johnson County attorney, but court affidavits indicate that he also allowed them to be reviewed by television host Bill O’Reilly and a Baltimore psychiatrist in an apparent attempt to gain publicity for his abortion-related investigation.

Although Kline’s campaign against abortion providers in the state is well known, the topic of his investigation was not the focus of the Supreme Court, which was more interested in Kline’s deplorable handling of the records and the case.

Among the Supreme Court findings was that “Kline and/or his subordinates seriously interfered with the performance of his successors as Attorney General and seriously interfered with this Court’s effort to determine the facts underlying this action and the legal merits of the parties’ position.”

The ruling enumerated many instances of Kline mishandling the records as evidence of “an obvious and sorry pattern … His attitude and behavior are inexcusable, particularly for someone who purports to be a professional prosecutor.”

The court ordered Kline to hand-deliver the files to the Kansas attorney general by next Friday. The opinion noted that no financial sanctions would be imposed, but only because those sanctions would have to be paid by Johnson County rather than Kline personally. “We are unwilling to make those taxpayers foot any further bill for the conduct of a district attorney they did not elect in the first place and have now shown the door,” wrote Justice Carol A. Beier.

Kline was elected by the Johnson County Republican Committee to fill Paul Morrison’s spot in the DA’s office but lost a primary race in August to an assistant DA whom he dismissed from that staff when he took office. Kline term ends next month.

The court’s action is likely to make this Kline’s final exit from the state’s political scene. The ethically challenged former lawmaker, attorney general and district attorney has been a continuing embarrassment for Kansas. Although many Kansans may have concerns about some of the late-term abortions being performed in the state, any action to curtail such procedures must follow proper legal process, which Friday’s ruling clearly confirms Kline’s actions did not.


Steve Jacob 9 years, 3 months ago

Let's not forget Morrison's role of having his mistress spy on Kline. Tiller got the last laugh on both of them.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully there will be official proceedings to have Klines license revoked. He's done a great disservice to the public and courts.

BigPrune 9 years, 3 months ago

George Tiller owns this state. It is far more embarrassing for Kansas to have such a dishonorable reputation as being the state to go to when a woman wants a late term abortion.

Cait McKnelly 9 years, 3 months ago

"...court affidavits indicate that he also allowed them to be reviewed by television host Bill O’Reilly and a Baltimore psychiatrist in an apparent attempt to gain publicity for his abortion-related investigation."_______If this can be proven then Phill the Clown faces a lot more than just losing his law license. He violated state and federal privacy laws and at the very least is open to civil lawsuit.

Bernhardt 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Big Prune that Tiller owns this state. I disagree with what the naive not_so_greek says. The Supreme Court said shat Tiller and Planned Parenthood wanted them to say.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

"And a Centrist is one who is one who votes with the leftists as do the so-called moderates."From Bernhardt. Apparently, we're all righteous religious conservatives or evil liberals. It's good, though, to have such a short profile that so clearly says that it's a waste of time.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

Which makes me wonder if it's a right-thinker alter ego. Uses a lot of the same terminology. Not that, with the conservative media outlets, that means much.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

... no financial sanctions.... OK. Fine. Indict him. Criminal charges. Jail time. I doubt even that would get through to Kline, The Narcissist. Like a lot of delusional fundamentalists, he believes he above any and all law.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

R-T: Just a theory, glad you're flattered. You talk about abuse of power, but there's nothing in there about Kline at all? Do you not think that he in any way abused his authority?

BrianR 9 years, 3 months ago

This isn't about Tiller, try to stay focused.

shutnmdown 9 years, 3 months ago

Everything done in the dark eventually comes into the light...karma is so awesome..

BrianR 9 years, 3 months ago

Tom, I'll try to use one syllable words. The story is, AG sees something he dislikes, he breaks rules, laws and pisses on his code of ethics to pursue his personal agenda. Capiche?

Grump 9 years, 3 months ago

Shame on Caleb Stegall for getting up at Kline's press conference and declaring the Court's opinion a win for Kline. Both Kline and Stegall look ridiculous.

lazydazyjlea 9 years, 3 months ago

Kline's "exit" may turn out to be Kansas women's loss in the sense that he was willing to buck the political pressure, the media bias AND the those who should have been upholding the rule of law to ensure that women who choose abortion are not exploited by abortionists who have a real conflict of interest when it comes to giving women informed consent not only about risks but about the real age of the child inside before they abort. The law states that a minor who has been sexually abused should be protected...I think pregnancy would be adequate proof of sexual abuse..statutory rape..instead abortion clinics routinely cover for the abuser. Kaching! goes the cash register. Abortion is the one industry that really does not have to follow the laws enacted to protect women and to uphold what the public wants...guess it should be called "back-alley" abortion. Jlea

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