Phill Kline ethics trial adjourns for now: battle has cost him $200,000 says Kline
TOPEKA, Kansas, March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The eight-day ethics trial against Phill Kline, the former Kansas attorney general and the only U.S. prosecutor to file criminal charges against Planned Parenthood, came to a conclusion this afternoon – but not before testimony detailed how the judicial system had been reworked against Kline in favor of the abortion clinics that he had targeted as part of a broad criminal investigation.
However, Wednesday only marked the end of part one of the Kline ethics trial. Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek, reporting to LifeSiteNews.com from Topeka, said the second part will begin in several months. She said that while the case for Count I against Kline is over, the hearing for Count II will begin on July 19. Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett will argue that Kline acted prejudiced in the administration of justice (Count II).
Each side will have a day and a half to argue their case, with closing arguments on the fourth day.
Motion to dismiss ethics charges
Stanek said that Kline’s attorneys filed a 148-page motion to dismiss the charges against him Tuesday afternoon. Hazlett will have until April 4 to respond to that motion. Kline’s attorneys will then have until April 18 to reply to Hazlett’s response.
The disciplinary panel will then make a judgment whether to dismiss the charges or continue proceeding with the trial.
Expert witness affirms Kline’s investigative tactics, delay of abortion file transfer
Although Kline was given less than a day to make a positive defense against Hazlett’s Count I charges of ethical misconduct, Stanek said he had enough time to call to the stand an expert witness who affirmed that the tactics Kline used throughout the investigation of Planned Parenthood and George Tiller were sound and routine in law enforcement investigations.
Tom Stanton, an investigator and ethics professor at Kansas University, testified that all of Phill Kline and his AG office’s actions in obtaining information from Social and Rehabilitative Services were ethical. He emphasized that Kline’s omitting to tell state agencies the full scope of his investigation was not a lie. But even so, Stanton added that it is entirely ethical for investigators to deceive, because the goal is not to let the target know what is going on.
“Police can actually lie to suspects, and not share the nature of the investigation with anyone,” Stanton said, as reported by Stanek.
Kline also faces charges of ethics violations in part because files relating to his criminal investigation of the abortion clinics were stored at an apartment for a month, until February 2007. However, Stanton testified on the stand that he agreed with the assessment of Tom Williams, Kline’s chief investigator, that the Johnson County District Attorney’s office was not secured. Williams had later moved the files after he deemed the office secure enough to safely store the files in the evidence room.
Stanton said conversations with Linda Carter, AG Paul Morrison’s former secretary and paramour at the DA’s office, confirmed the view that the office was not secure when Kline transitioned into Morrison’s former job. He said Morrison had so poisoned the Johnson County DA’s office that attorneys were branded as “traitors” simply for working with Kline.
Illustrating the one-sidedness of the hostility, however, Stanton recounted that Kline had made overtures of good will to Morrison, and sent him a letter giving him information Morrison had requested and offering to help. Stanton said Morrison’s response to Kline’s letter was “thanks, but no thanks.”
Supreme Court order may have put key information in abortion clinics’ hands
On the final day of the proceedings Kline also testified that the Kansas Supreme Court had compelled him to hand everything and anything his criminal investigation gathered on abortion clinics to his successor as attorney general, Paul Morrison.
But according to Kline the information then may have then been handed over to Planned Parenthood and abortionist George Tiller. “I’ve been told all that information was then turned over to attorneys for abortion clinics,” Kline testified.
He also testified that the Kansas Supreme Court order did not stop at the targets of Kline’s investigation, i.e. Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood (CHPP) in Johnson County and Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic in Wichita.
Stanek told LifeSiteNews.com that the high court’s order was so broad in scope, Kline had to hand over to Morrison prosecutors’ evidence given him that pertained to other abortion clinics under investigation. This included personal information, civil cases by child rape victims against Planned Parenthood in Ohio (for their failure to report child rape), and even information from Planned Parenthood employees, who had come forward from other clinics around the country.
Morrison had declared in May 2007 that he was clearing Planned Parenthood of criminal wrongdoing. However, when Kline took over Morrison’s position as DA of Johnson County, he continued his criminal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s failure to report child rape and conspiracy to commit illegal late-term abortions.
Morrison then joined with Planned Parenthood in a legal action against Kline to deprive him (as well as Judge Richard Anderson) of redacted copies of the medical records. That evidence formed the basis of the 107 criminal counts (including 23 felonies), which CHPP still faces today. While Morrison did not succeed in stopping Kline from filing the case, the legal action created a delay that ensured that Kline was not able to prosecute the case before leaving office in January 2009.
Only two years later, has the criminal case against CHPP begun to move forward again.
Phill Kline: Legal battles have cost me $200,000
Stanek said that at the end of the day Kline resumed the stand, and testified that Morrison had denied him legal representation, even though he was being sued by abortion clinics for his actions in his public capacity as AG.
Kline said that he was forced to obtain private counsel, which has cost him $200,000 in legal fees. He said these legal costs have never been reimbursed by the state.
LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Kline at the conclusion of the day, and asked what he hoped would be the outcome of his trial.
“My hope and prayer is that the truth, which I believe was revealed in that hearing panel, comes out,” said Kline.
Kline also said that he hoped the Kansas legislature would take a renewed look at his investigation into the victims of child rape, unreported by abortion providers, “and that those in the executive branch of government might be willing to take a look and determine what needs to be done to ensure that appropriate investigations like ours move forward without undue interference.”
See the complete list of LSN stories by Peter Smith on the Kline trial:
* 107-count criminal case begins against Planned Parenthood in Kansas
* Phill Kline ethics trial: Day 1 – Live update
* Kansas abortionists failed to report 166 potential cases of child rape: Phill Kline trial day 2
* Phill Kline attorney makes witness sweat in Planned Parenthood ethics complaint case
* DA’s diary snatching brings new twist to Phill Kline ethics trial, potential crime
* Kansas Travesty: 249 child-age abortions over 3 years, just four sex abuse reports: Kline Hearings
* Kansas judge testifies ‘probable cause’ existed to investigate criminal PP activity: Kline Hearings
* Kline did not violate judge’s order in secret Planned Parenthood case: judge’s legal counsel
* Planned Parenthood gambit: beat Phill Kline charges, defeat Live Action?
* Former Tiller attorney combed CD of sensitive records from Kline investigation
* The Phill Kline saga: Planned Parenthood protected, children forgotten, the prosecutor prosecuted
* Day 6 trial: Kline protected sexual assault victim privacy, Tiller compromised patient privacy
* Video: Kline says ‘those in power’ blocked Planned Parenthood, Tiller investigation
* Witness: Phill Kline didn’t need/want adult patient names
* Prosecutor tells investigator: we don’t have to accept report clearing Phill Kline
* UPDATE: Kline tells ethics panel, ‘You are violating my due process rights!’
* ‘It is wrong!’: Phill Kline blocked from presenting full defense, calling all witnesses
* Phill Kline: Kansas Supreme Court ‘obstructed’ child rape investigation to save Planned Parenthood