Phill Kline held to double standard in ethics trial - Day 3 live update

It was revealed that Kline’s successor was guilty of one of the same offenses for which Kline is being charged, but no charges have been filed against him.
Wed Feb 23, 2011 - 2:01 pm EST

Note: reporter Peter Smith is attending the hearings in Kansas this week. This article will be updated periodically throughout the day as the case unfolds.

February 23, 2011 ( – A few minutes before the ethics trial involving former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline adjourned for lunch today, testimony appeared to reveal a double-standard held against Kline regarding one of the charges being brought against him.

Kline was hit with the ethics complaints after he pursued lawsuits against both Planned Parenthood and late-term abortionist George Tiller. His office says it had discovered a host of incriminating evidence suggesting widescale cover-up of child rape and other evasions of the law.

Today the trial entered its third day, with Judge Richard Anderson, a Shawnee County district judge, taking the stand, where he was questioned by Kline’s legal counsel Reed Holbrook.

One of the charges brought by disciplinary administrator Stan Hazlett against Kline is that Kline failed to update a status and disciplinary report relating to the abortion investigations, which did not at the time include the records relating to Kline’s investigation of George Tiller.

However, under cross-examination Judge Anderson told Holbrook that Kline’s successor, AG Paul Morrison, was apparently guilty of the same offense.

Anderson says he had sent Morrison a written request to update the status and disposition report in order to include information regarding Donald McKinney, a special prosecutor who was fired by Morrison. However, in response to Holbrook’s questioning, Judge Anderson stated that Morrison never gave him that update.

However, to date no charges of ethics violations have been filed against Morrison.

Anderson also revealed that when he had asked for the missing files in April 2007, Kline returned the requested data. By contrast, Morrison never updated the report as requested by Anderson.

Holbrook asked Anderson, “Did you ask or request Mr. Kline’s successor to update this status report?”

Anderson responded: “I asked Morrison to update.”

Holbrook asked: “Did he?” Anderson responded: “No.”

In related testimony, Holbrook asked Anderson if he had encountered any inappropriate, unprofessional conduct by Kline or his subordinates, and if he would have reported that to Kline. Anderson responded: “I don’t know. But I saw some conduct I didn’t like in the next generation of attorneys general [office], and I didn’t report it.”

The trial will resume today at 1:00 with further questioning of Anderson by Holbrook.

  abortion, george tiller, phill kline, planned parenthood

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