Politics & Government

Kline ethics hearing will resume July 19

TOPEKA — After more than a week of testimony, Phill Kline's ethics hearing came to an end Wednesday afternoon.

But this was just round one. The hearing will resume for four more days on July 19, when the state disciplinary administrator will continue making his ethics case against Kline.

Kline is facing charges that he misled and defied judges and mishandled evidence during his investigation of Planned Parenthood and George Tiller's Wichita abortion clinic.

Kline was a Republican attorney general and Johnson County district attorney at the time of the investigations.

Kline testified for more than 20 hours during the eight-day hearing. He maintained his legal tactics were sound and his cause just during his efforts to bring charges against Tiller and Planned Parenthood.

Kline's attorney submitted an approximately 150-page motion, asking for the complaint to be dismissed.

The disciplinary administrator has 14 days to respond to Kline's motion, and Kline will have 14 days to respond to the administrator, officials said.

Kline's lawyer, Reid Holbrook, blamed the lengthy hearing on the fuzziness of the case against his client.

He said if the charges had been better defined the hearing could have proceeded at a faster pace.

A panel of three lawyers is sitting in judgment of Kline. If the panel finds Kline in violation of ethics rules, it will recommend discipline to the Kansas Supreme Court. Punishment could range from censure to disbarment.

Kline now teaches law at Liberty University in Virginia.

His Kansas law license is inactive, but a finding that he violated his professional ethics could make it more difficult for him to join the bar in another state.