Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Phill Kline faces more questions about abortion investigation in ethics hearing

February 22, 2011, 8:46 a.m. Updated February 22, 2011, 12:48 p.m.


Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and his wife, Deborah, arrive for a hearing before a state panel on a professional ethics complaint against him, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Topeka, Kan. The complaint before a three-member panel of the state Board for Discipline of Attorneys stems from Kline's investigations of abortion providers while in office.

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and his wife, Deborah, arrive for a hearing before a state panel on a professional ethics complaint against him, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Topeka, Kan. The complaint before a three-member panel of the state Board for Discipline of Attorneys stems from Kline's investigations of abortion providers while in office.

— Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline sought Tuesday to rebut a key allegation in an ethics complaint against him, testifying during a hearing that he did not aim to identify adult patients of the late Dr. George Tiller during an investigation of the Wichita abortion provider.

Kline said instead he was trying to identify child victims of sexual abuse and anyone traveling with them when he subpoenaed records from a hotel near Tiller's clinic. It was his second day of testimony before a three-member panel of the state Board for the Discipline of Attorneys, which will recommend to the Kansas Supreme what, if any, sanctions Kline should face over the complaint.

The complaint alleges Kline and his subordinates mishandled abortion patients' medical records and misled other officials while investigating Tiller's clinic and a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. Kline, who investigated the clinics as attorney general from 2003 to 2007 and as Johnson County district attorney from 2007 to 2009, vigorously disputes those allegations.

Part of the complaint says Kline and his staff falsely claimed in court documents and proceedings that they never tried to identify adult abortion patients. It says Kline's office subpoenaed records in 2005 from a hotel near Tiller's clinic that offered his patients a discount.

Records from the attorney general's office show investigators tried to identify adults staying at the hotel. Kline testified Tuesday that the goal was to identify "traveling companions" of children seeking abortions, so investigators could determine whether Tiller had reported sexual abuse of the children to authorities, as required by law.

"We knew that the children would not be registering under their own names," Kline testified. "Yes, adult patients stayed there, but that wasn't the purpose of the subpoena."

Kline filed misdemeanor charges against Tiller in December 2006, accusing the doctor of performing illegal late-term abortions and failing to adequately report the details to the state, as required by law. The case was dismissed for jurisdictional reasons, and Kline's successor filed different misdemeanor charges the following year.

Tiller was acquitted in 2009, shortly before he was shot and killed while attending church.

A criminal case against the Planned Parenthood clinic, filed by Kline as Johnson County district attorney in 2007, is pending. The clinic denies the allegations in the 107 charges that it performed illegal abortions and falsified records.

Clinics and abortion rights advocates have accused Kline of conducting a fishing expedition during his time as attorney general that threatened patients' privacy. His political opponents milked the issue, which was a main reason he lost his bid for re-election as attorney general in 2006.

After that loss, Republicans selected Kline to fill a district attorney vacancy in the Johnson County, but he lost the 2008 GOP primary for the post. He's now an assisting visiting professor of law at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell.

Statements by Kline and subordinates in court proceedings and documents relating to his abortion investigations were in keeping with Kline's public stance that he didn't need — or want — to know the names of adult abortion patients.

Kline always said publicly that he didn't need — or want to know — the names of adults who had abortions. But under questioning by Stanton Hazlett, the state disciplinary administrator who filed the complaint, Kline acknowledged a review of the hotel records could have identified Tiller's adult patients. Internal memos showed an investigator for the attorney general's office did try to identify adult patients, but Kline noted that doing so allowed the office to disregard information about non-patients.

Hazlett questioned Kline for more than three hours Monday, the first day of the hearing on the ethics complaint against him.

Kline and his attorneys argue that much of what the complaint describes as misconduct regularly occurs in criminal investigations.

For example, the complaint alleges that Kline's staff misled the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in 2003 to obtain data at the start of its investigations of the clinics.

Kline wouldn't concede the department had been deceived but said he viewed SRS as a potential witness. He said courts regularly allow law enforcement officials to withhold information from witnesses — and even actively deceive them and suspects — to protect an investigation. Misleading SRS, he said, "would not have been a problem."

The state Supreme Court — which already has criticized Kline in opinions in abortion cases — could impose no sanction or a punishment ranging from an informal admonishment to the loss of his license to practice in state courts. Kline's license was suspended in October after he didn't pay a $50 annual fee.

"I don't believe I should be here, and I didn't want to pay you money," Kline told Hazlett.


jstthefacts 7 years, 3 months ago

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gsander58 7 years, 3 months ago

I find most of these posts pathetic. The laws we pass are the laws we have to live with, PERIOD. Kline was looking for CHILDREN receiving abortions. Is there a law allowing abortions? absolutely!!! Is there a law against RAPING CHILDREN, again< ABSOLUTELY!! Why cant you accept that just because your against pro-life and you don't agree with an attorney general that will stand up for what he believes (yes about abortion but specifically against statutory RAPE!!) you want to ride him like a rented mule! Good God liberals, give him a break...what friggen plan do you have in place to stop frightened or worse, Raping parents from covering their crimes? any great ideas out there solomon?

Corey Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

How many of these rape convictions did Kline have?

Orwell 7 years, 3 months ago

Kline's arrogance is astonishing. Any law "school" that allows him to "teach" should have its graduates placed on an ethics watch list.

svenway_park 7 years, 3 months ago

Lock up your health files. He is in the vicinity.

BruceWayne 7 years, 3 months ago

he did not pull the trigger that killed Tiller, but he loaded the gun.

sr80 7 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't of said it better !!! very good Mr.bat.. er.. wayne

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago


That's the problem - you don't comment on the substance of things.

The article isn't about Sebelius, it's about Kline.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm much more interested in what you think of Kline's behavior.

Especially since you keep avoiding that subject.

overthemoon 7 years, 3 months ago

Mob like pro abortion tactics...? Name one instance of such an occurrence. And while you're at it, find ANY evidence that ANYONE is 'Pro" abortion.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

That's exactly the point.

The article is about Kline's behavior, for which he's being investigated.

Your comments contain nothing at all about that.

Crazy_Larry 7 years, 3 months ago

WTF is wrong with you? Don't question to the alleged illegal activities of a former AG. Do question the legal activities of eveyone else. It's called 'critical thinking'...have you heard of it? And people call ME crazy... At this point, I'm all for a Civil War...I'm sick of the hypocisy and ready to do my part to cleanse the Earth of some stupid. (fingers crossed)

TheStonesSuck 7 years, 3 months ago

Are you a troll, or do you just have trollish attributes? I like your style; your posts however, are incredibly inane, and are usually just rehashed fox news talking points. IRL if you're just a liberal dem messing with everyone on these boards, touche, but you've been spied! because that's what I suspect.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 3 months ago

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sr80 7 years, 3 months ago

that's reserved for blackwater agents. we don't lower ourselves to that level over here or do/could we ???

Kim Murphree 7 years, 3 months ago

Here's a little insight into Phil Kline--instead of pursuing cases against fraud or channeling resources of the AG's office into assisting with fighting meth lab growth in the state, he appointed staff time to tracking any media that mentioned his name--for good or ill--his stance on abortion rights is all about gaining notoriety and what he perceives as fame. Phil is about Phil And he doesn't care whose money or emotions or passion he uses to get what he wants..his name in the papers--on Bill O'Reily...wherever.

oldbaldguy 7 years, 3 months ago

vocal is correct. It's all about Kline. You do not knowingly submit incorrect or incomplete information to a judge when you are asking for warrants or permission to do something, it undermines the process. However, he gets a hearing and until it is over, no one knows the outcome.

LloydDobbler 7 years, 3 months ago

Phil Kline = Fred Phelps. Grandstanding, immoral, attention whores who have chosen a segment of the population to ostracize to make a name for themselves in the annals of legal history. One wears a suit, the other wears a warm-up suit...that's the only difference.

Phil Minkin 7 years, 3 months ago

An incredible combination of arrogance, hubris and denial combing to create self righteousness that makes him feel above the law.

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

AMEN, Tom, a witch hunt it is. And Sebelius, Tiller, etc were behind the abortion issues that Kline was trying to expose, therefore they can be included in the disscussion.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

It was a witch hunt, alright. One that Kline created and crusaded.

LloydDobbler 7 years, 3 months ago

You have no idea what your talking about. I know someone who interviewed for a job with Kline and he asked the interviewee how many children he had. The interviewee indicated he and his wife had one child and Kline said, "one, why just one? You're going to have more, right?" The gist of the conversation is that it is his obligation as a white, good American Christian to populate the earth. So much for separation of church and state. This guy is a nutbag who belongs at Liberty with all the other nutbags.

Getaroom 7 years, 3 months ago

Send Kline over to China permanently and let him have a nice long readjustment to the life on planet earth.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Oh, please. The Chinese are just beginning to develop a legal system. Don't send PK over there to ruin it. He could, however, work in one of their slave factories and probably would do well making soccer balls.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 3 months ago

I have a problem with any investigation on the ethics of Philllllll kline. He has none.

This wing nut of the far right has the religious fervor any islamic terrorist would admire, he completely ignores that abortion is legal in the United States, he only wants to grandstand, like many of his Republican cohorts, with this issue, and is willing to forego any sense of civility, ethics of law and common sense. And the people of Kansas elected him. Does that tell you anything? Hitler was elevated to his position of Chancellor of Germany by the people of Germany. And the rest in history. Do you see any parallels here?. This cretin was elected and supported by the one-issue religious wing nut crowd and his take on the fflexibility of the law based on his religious voodoo was practiced. This tactic, well-practiced by the islamic "republics" such as Iran is clearly visible in the antics of philllll. There is no solution here except lifetime disbarment and censure for this former darling of the tiller killer crowd.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

frwent: Good points. The American Taliban is live and well here in Kochkansas. Same tactics, but they are a bit more circumspect in their actions. Same ideology (Theocracy yet to come;) different sky god whispering in their ears, but similar agendas. Instead of Sharia law, we'll eventually get the Torah.

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

Never saw Tom say Sebelius was guilty of crimes---and NEITHER DID I. She was guilty of supporting Tiller and Kline was investigating him for skirting the law. That's the facts, and I'll say "abortion is a crime against humanity, even if it's not on the books of state law."

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

You're wrong. My insight is just fine.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

You should go see an inner ophthalmologist..

buffalo63 7 years, 3 months ago

I would hope that my wife, daughter or granddaughter would never have to make a decision to have an abortion, but if they were in that position, I would hope that they would have the procedure safely available to them. To those who oppose any abortion, are you prepared to help take care of that baby (fianancially or physically) when its born with special needs, parent(s) too young or unable to care for them properly? If not, then DON'T BUTT INTO the privacy of a women in crisis having to make such a decision, as there many situations that would require this procedure.

jessanddaron 7 years, 3 months ago

I like how Tom starts by commending "left wingers" for being civil about this matter at the very beginning and then just goes off on a rant. Does that mean the so called "right winger" doesn't believe in civility himself?

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

He seems to have no standards at all that he applies to the right, but many that he applies to the left.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

It would be ironic if his downfall gave him another 15 minutes of fame.

Soapbox 7 years, 3 months ago

Let me put this argument to rest, WE REPUBLICANS do not like Phill Kline and the ones that voted for him (Not me) are still reeling from the mistake! Mr. Kline is the worst kind of intolerant religious extremist !! He will tell you it is unchristian to lie as he tells you one!

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

Speak for yourself, Soapy. I voted for Kline, and would do so again under the same conditions. Yes, he takes his religion seriously, and he wants the law followed. Just what are these LIES he tells?

WHY 7 years, 3 months ago

He did not want to follow the laws that applied to him. Only the laws that applied to young girls going through the worst time of their lives.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

The article itself contains evidence that he thinks it's ok to deceive.

Read it for yourself and see.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

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olddognewtrix 7 years, 3 months ago

Lets hear it for the honesty of Soapbox!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

"Lets hear it for the honesty of Soapbox!"

My father in law would also agree who is definitely old school conservative republican who also supports women's rights.

What I do not understand is how these NOT republicans such as Kline and Brownback slip by true republicans.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

Because the GOP in Kansas was hijacked by the religious right a long time ago. Neo-cons and Libertarians could care less, as long as it doesn't effect their bottom line. All they care about is their tax cuts. Give them that and the religious right can "social legislate" all they like.

blindrabbit 7 years, 3 months ago

Looking for the slime trail that allowed this slug to slip back into Kansas. He should be right at home at Liberty U. in olde Virginny.

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

That's suppose to relate to the Kline hearing? Think you are a little confused my boy.

Soapbox 7 years, 3 months ago

Let us now wipe away each others tears because, now hope is.... aloud

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

He does talk issues, but you kids in Larrytown don't understand what the country needs.

KayCee 7 years, 3 months ago

One hell of a lot more conservative ideas and actions. Mainly get rid of the 'wet behind the ears kid' in the WH.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

So, given the fact that KS is now quite conservative, with a conservative governor, will you watch and see what the effects of that are in KS?

And, if the effects are disastrous, as I think they will be, will you hold them accountable for them?

BruceWayne 7 years, 3 months ago

twin sons of different mothers...Kline and Brownback.

bad_dog 7 years, 3 months ago

Two "L"s in Phill, two "L"s in Hell. Hmm, could it be the work of Satan?

zzgoeb 7 years, 3 months ago

Has anyone else noticed how Kline and Scott Walker look like twins? Take away Phill's glasses, and walah, you've got clones!!!

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