Archive for Monday, September 19, 2011

Judge says Phill Kline, former Kansas attorney general, retaliated against fired employee

September 19, 2011

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— An administrative judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled that Phill Kline was retaliating against a senior Johnson County prosecutor when he fired her in April 2007 after he took over as the county’s district attorney.

Kline, who was Kansas attorney general from 2003 to 2007 before being defeated by Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison, was appointed to Morrison’s D.A. post after he left state office. A few months later, he fired Jacqie Spradling, a 15-year prosecutor in that office who was section chief of the domestic violence unit.

In that role, Spradling supervised four attorneys and three interns, handled more than 400 cases and supervised nearly 2,000 cases in 2006, while also prosecuting homicide cases.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan Biro made the ruling a month ago in the case filed by Spradling with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Kline’s attorney, Reid Holbrook, said he disagreed with Biro’s interpretation of case law in her ruling, and that Kline was appealing the ruling.

Biro’s ruling is attached to a lawsuit filed by Spradling in Johnson County District Court. It’s an exhibit on a Spradling filing in her state case against Kline as district attorney.

A motions hearing in the state case is scheduled for Monday at the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe.

In her state case, Spradling is seeking damages for mental anguish, no less than $63,000 in past wage loss, no less than $68,000 in future lost income, legal fees and lost benefits. She’s also seeking a court order protecting female employees from sexual discrimination and retaliation in the district attorney’s office.

In her 16-page ruling, Biro said statements in Kline’s June 15 affidavit — three weeks after Spradling filed a motion for partial summary decision — were “not credible” because they conflicted with Kline’s earlier deposition.

“Excluding Mr. Kline’s contradictory affidavit statements leaves the evidence of discrimination offered by Ms. Spradling unexplained and unrebutted,” she wrote.

Biro noted that Kline fired Spradling about one month after she submitted written allegations of sexual discrimination, and four days after Kline notified the Johnson County Department of Human Resources that his office wouldn’t cooperate with the human resources investigation based on Spradling’s allegations.

In an April 20, 2007, memo to Kline, senior deputy district attorney Stephen Maxwell listed 10 points specifying why Spradling should be dismissed. She was fired April 24, 2007.

Kline has denied that she was terminated out of retaliation or discriminated against. Kline’s defense previously called her firing a “legitimate business decision based on factors that were appropriate.”

Comments

jaywalker 3 years, 6 months ago

"She’s also seeking a court order protecting female employees from sexual discrimination and retaliation in the district attorney’s office."

Is that actually necessary? I mean, aren't they protected from such already?

As to the story, sure would be nice to know what Kline's "10 point" rationale for firing her were. Not much of an article without them.

deec 3 years, 6 months ago

Apparently not. To right wing conservatives the only right a woman has is the right to be bred.

BigPrune 3 years, 6 months ago

It's obvious this ruling was based on gender.

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

". . . Kline notified the Johnson County Department of Human Resources that his office wouldn’t cooperate with the human resources investigation based on Spradling’s allegations."

Can he do that---I mean legally?

And if the allegations were false, then wouldn't you want to cooperate and prove them wrong?

Mike Ford 3 years, 6 months ago

the goose steppers tried to make someone goose step with them and they lost. They don't like playing by the rules because people like Kline think they are the rule....oh well

Grump 3 years, 6 months ago

Phill's going to have cost the state millions. So will Brownback.

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