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Ethics complaint names Kline's ex-chief of staff

TOPEKA — A former assistant attorney general has been accused of making false statements to the Kansas Supreme Court about two abortion clinics, according to an ethics complaint filed Monday.

Eric Rucker, an assistant Jefferson County attorney, is scheduled to answer questions April 27-28 from the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys on charges that he violated rules of professional conduct, including breaching the public trust.

Rucker used to be chief of staff to Phill Kline, who as Kansas attorney general and Johnson County district attorney started investigating abortion providers in 2003.

The complaint accuses Rucker of falsely denying knowledge of efforts to identify women who had received abortions at Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, operated by George Tiller, and at Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson, who supervised some of Kline's investigations, subpoenaed patients' medical records at Kline's request in 2004. A legal battle prevented Kline from accessing the records for more than two years.

During the records fight, Rucker represented Kline in an oral argument before the Supreme Court on Sept. 8, 2005. The complaint filed Monday accuses Rucker of lying about the review of records of live births by the Attorney General's Office, its pursuit of names of women who had received abortions, and whether the office knew the names of minors who had received abortions.

' 'As the result of these efforts, the identifications of several of the girls less than 16 years of age were learned,'' the complaint reads. ''The Respondent was aware of his office's efforts to identify the names of underage patients of WHCS and their limited success.''

Kline obtained edited records from the files of 62 Tiller patients and 29 Planned Parenthood patients in late October 2006, two weeks before he lost the attorney general's race.

Rucker could not be reached for comment.

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