TOPEKA, March 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The disciplinary panel overseeing Phill Kline’s ethics trial will not allow the former attorney general to mount a full defense or call all his witnesses, despite Kline’s objection that the prosecution has been given an unjust advantage. The trial will end Wednesday, even though as of this morning the Disciplinary Administrator had not yet rested his case on the first count against Kline over his criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood and George Tiller, and Kline has not been given the opportunity to present his defense.
Jill Stanek, reporting on-site from the trial in Topeka, spoke with LifeSiteNews.com Tuesday morning, saying the ethics panel is not being allowed to go one day over its allotted eight days.
Originally, Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett was given five days to make his case, while Kline’s attorneys would have three days, and conclude on Wednesday.
But Stanek said that Hazlett has now entered day 7 of the trial, and, as of her report, had not yet finished his case against Kline.
“[Kline] will have at most a day and a half of defense,” she said.
“It is wrong!” Kline said in an interview with the Kansas Watchdog. “There is no way they should limit my ability to present my case.
“I understand that people get tired of hearing this. Believe me I’ve been tired of hearing this for five years now. And for them to get an unlimited amount of time to present their case, and suddenly they say we gotta be done by Wednesday and you get no more time, if that is the ruling, that is wrong.”
Stanek told LSN that Kline pointed out in the trial that he has been the subject of an ongoing investigation for five years, despite being cleared by three separate judges (Owens, Anderson, and King) of wrongdoing.
She also reported that Kline was protesting that the panel’s inflexibility was putting his legal team at an enormous disadvantage in the trial. They have had little time to prepare his case. Twice, Attorney General Stephen Six had fired Kline’s attorneys working in the ethics case, and his two current attorneys (Reid Holbrook and Mark Stafford) have been representing him since September. That has given his legal time a very short window of time to comb through 30,000 pages of legal documents, and mount a defense.
Now, Reid and Stafford will have perhaps a day to defend Kline and call only some of their witnesses, before closing arguments.
Reid and Stafford were stymied in their efforts by the ethics panel to bring up positive information on Kline, reports Stanek.
She said that Lucky DeFries, who investigated Kline for alleged ethics violations and co-author of the DeFries-Mudrick report, was about to speak about five overall findings in his report. DeFries’ findings, which were favorable to Kline, never made it into the record. Hazlett objected to DeFries discussing the report, and panel president Jo Ann Butaud sustained the objection.
Hazlett, nonetheless, was allowed to question DeFries about matters outside the report.
Kline on Monday expressed his astonishment to local conservative media, Kansas Watchdog, that Hazlett received an extension from the disciplinary panel to prosecute Kline later over count two (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice), but his lawyers were getting less time to defend him and no extensions.
“We requested an extension of time and that was flat out denied. The Disciplinary Administrator asked for more time for count 2, they gave it,” he told reporter Earl Glynn in a video interview Monday.