Topeka A Kansas official said Tuesday that he expects an ethics complaint to be filed by the end of October against former Attorney General Phill Kline over his investigations of abortion providers.
Disciplinary Administrator Stanton Hazlett disclosed his office’s plans a day after he and his top deputy filed an ethics complaint against a former Kline assistant.
A complaint would be reviewed first by the state Board for Discipline of Attorneys. If it concluded an ethical violation had occurred, the Kansas Supreme Court would review the case.
Kline, an anti-abortion Republican, was attorney general in 2003-07 and Johnson County district attorney in 2007-08.
In an e-mail, Kline, now a visiting assistant law professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., responded to Hazlett’s statement by saying he’s “too busy to give it much thought.”
As attorney general, Kline investigated the late Dr. George Tiller, of Wichita, and a Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park. He continued investigating the Planned Parenthood clinic as Johnson County district attorney.
A criminal case Kline filed against the clinic, accusing it of falsifying records and performing illegal abortions, is still pending. Tiller was acquitted in March on misdemeanor charges filed by Kline’s successor as attorney general, accusing Tiller of violating restrictions on late-term abortions.
About two months later, on May 31, Tiller was shot and killed in his church. Anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder awaits trial in the case.
The abortion providers denied wrongdoing, suggested Kline’s investigations were driven by his politics and repeatedly criticized the conduct of Kline and his subordinates.
Kline has said the providers and their allies have attacked him to divert attention from their own conduct.
“Phill is focused on teaching and has long ago grown tired of responding to every strategic media leak engineered by his politically motivated opponents who are determined to destroy the threat he represents,” Kline spokesman Brian Burgess said.