Note: LifeSiteNews.com reporter Peter Smith is attending the hearings in Kansas this week. This article will be updated periodically throughout the day as the case unfolds.
See the LifeSiteNews.com report on Day 1 here.
See update 1 below for info about allegations of failure to report child rape.
February 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a surprise move Tuesday morning, the second day of an ethics trial against former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, disciplinary administrator Stan Hazlett appeared to bring forth new information not contained in the formal complaint against Kline.
Kline was hit with the ethics complaint after pursuing lawsuits against both Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller. His office says it discovered a host of incriminating evidence suggesting widescale cover-up of child rape and other evasions of the law.
Kline’s attorney, Reid Holbrook, immediately objected to Hazlett’s line of questioning today because it was outside the formal complaint, and therefore, he said, a violation of Kline’s right to due process. Hazlett said the allegations painted a fair characterization of the former AG, and that the respondent was “on notice” about the allegations because they were included in a December 29 letter to Kline’s attorneys.
After adjourning briefly to discuss the matter, the three-member panel of the state Board for the Discipline of Attorneys said they would let Hazlett continue his line of questioning, but with the stipulation that they were “not going to consider it as a separate violation but just relevant to other violations in the complaint.”
The conflict was over Kline’s alleged impropriety involving the handling of Kansas health department files and files from the Johnson County Planned Parenthood facility. Hazlett argued that, by not redacting the gestational age of a baby aborted at 23 weeks, an outside observer may have been able to deduce the identity of the patient, although all other identifying information had been redacted.
Kline maintained it would be impossible to figure out a patient’s identity solely from gestational age, and said he did not redact the figure because it was important to show that the document sent to the state, which had different handwriting than the clinic’s file, was not a scanned copy, leaving room for misreporting.
Kline argued that the charge of impropriety was trumped up by Planned Parenthood’s attorneys, who had attempted to force Kline not to use the abortion organization’s records as evidence was “to disgorge me of evidence against Planned Parenthood by their attorneys.”
Kline has over two days of hearings spent a total of eight hours on the stand, with the end of Hazlett’s questioning of the former attorney general being nowhere yet in sight.
Two more important developments emerged in the trial Tuesday afternoon.
The first was the revelation of the massive underreporting by abortion providers of potential statutory rape of children under 15. During testimony, Kline revealed that out of 168 abortions his investigation uncovered of children under the age of 15, only one had been reported by Planned Parenthood in Johnson County, and only one had been reported by late-term abortionist George Tiller, meaning that 166 other potential cases of child rape had gone unreported.
The second involved a possible federal offence committed by Kline’s opponents: the trial took an interesting turn when it was stated that Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe had opened a mailed box, which was addressed to Phill Kline, but had been sent to the wrong address in Virginia. Howe allegedly confiscated Kline’s personal diary and other items sent by his secretary, and sent them to the disciplinary administrator.
Opening another person’s mail in the United States is a federal offense.
Kline noted that he was still waiting for a return of the confiscated goods. “I want it back,” said Kline to laughter in the audience.