Monday, December 3, 2007

GOP Phill Kline - Has his own attorney firing scandal

By Adrianne Jeffries - December 2, 2007, 11:30AM

The Case of The Missing DA-
Last week a few national blogs picked up KCTV-5's investigation of Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney and anti-abortion crusader extraordinaire Phill Kline. Kline was Kansas Attorney General until voters ousted him in December of 2006 in favor of former Johnson County DA Paul Morrison, who became a Democrat in order to run against Kline. After Kline lost, the state GOP appointed him to fill Morrison's shoes in Johnson County, a district where he was highly unpopular, in a decision party officials now regret. The two men, Morrison and Kline -- whose destinies are clearly intertwined -- effectively switched jobs.
And how is Kline performing in his new position, which nets him $143,000 a year?
KCTV reported that Kline only spends 29 hours a week in his office, frequently only for a few hours a day, which other Kansas DAs said falls far short of the time necessary to do the job. And the news channel also says Kline's legal residence in Johnson County is a sham -- he rents a crumby apartment above a storage facility at $400 a month, while keeping his Topeka dwelling. KCTV reporters watched the Johnson County apartment for "weeks," with no sign of Kline.
In a rebuttal, Kline's spokesman said that the reporters would have seen Kline leaving his apartment "if they woke up a little earlier to catch him when he leaves for work" and reminded people "that the DA job is not strictly confined to the four walls of the DA office."
So where was Kline while he was at not-work and not-Johnson County? There is some speculation that he was devoting time to his favorite cause.
If you feel like you've read the name "Phill" spelled with two L's somewhere before, it was probably connected to the anti-abortion crusade. Kline's obsession with the issue has made him a darling of the pro-lifers. His critics say he put his energy into campaigning with pro-life groups. And while on the job, he's stayed true to the same aim, filing a 107-count criminal complaint against Planned Parenthood. The complaint is interesting because 1) Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against him first, and 2) his foil, current AG Paul Morrison, had decided not to file charges against Planned Parenthood after conducting what he called a "thorough" investigation of allegations Kline made while he was Kansas AG.
But it gets muckier.
Kline must subscribe to the same podcast as Alberto Gonzales or something, because he fired eight attorneys in his office without reason on his first day as Johnson County DA in January. Now those attorneys are suing him, and the judge has not been ruling in his favor. The fired attorneys say Kline axed them because they had no political loyalty to him. Kline says he can ax whoever he wants. Sound familiar?
Whatta guy. Too bad he's said he's not seeking re-election. Maybe he's tired of living in his $400/mo. storage closet.
TPM you're my hero

hit tracker