Friday, January 22, 2010

From Daily Kos

Roeder Trial: Witness for the Defense Under Investigation for Ethics Violations 

By Angry Mouse

Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 06:18:02 AM PST

Well, here's a shocker:
The Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys released a complaint Tuesday claiming [Phill] Kline committed "breaches of trust of his public office" and professional misconduct during his investigations of [Dr. George] Tiller.

The board claims Kline and his deputy prosecutors broke seven Rules of Professional Conduct, including conflict of interest, competence in dealing with complex issues, handling of sensitive documents and misleading judges. The complaint also cites Kline for making improper public comments about ongoing investigations.
Who is Phill Kline? He's the former Attorney General for the State of Kansas, who spent years investigating Dr. George Tiller for allegedly performing illegal abortions. Oh, and he's been called to testify in the Scott Roeder trial.
The defense has subpoenaed former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who plans to testify that he reviewed patient medical records and found evidence Dr. Tiller was illegally aborting "viable, unborn children," a spokesman for Mr. Kline said.
Dr. Tiller was acquitted of all charges, but that doesn't seem to matter, because Kline will be testifying about his investigation anyway, an investigation that is now under investigation itself for its questionable tactics, which included aggressively trying to identify the names of Dr. Tiller's patients by subpoenaing their private medical records and seeking the names of guests who stayed at the La Quinta Inn near Dr. Tiller's clinic.
In 2005, the complaint said, Kline's office tried to identify women who were having abortions at Tiller's clinic by "staking out the clinic, following visitors and employees to their vehicles and recording automobile license plate numbers."
"Attempts were made to run the numbers through state agencies in order to identify the name of the driver," the complaint said.
Charming, eh? But that's not all.
The complaint also points to Kline's appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" with Bill O'Reilly. Kline spoke about the contents of records obtained from the clinic, after the Kansas Supreme Court told him to "resist any impulse to further publicize the respective legal positions," the complaint said.
Despite the failure of Kline's investigation to actually turn up any -- what's the word? -- oh yeah, proof of wrongdoing, Kline will be permitted to testify at the Roeder trial. Because as the judge has made clear, Roeder has the legal right to argue that he shot Dr. Tiller in cold blood in his church to protect the "preborn" from the "imminent" danger of Dr. Tiller performing a legal medical procedure.

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