US

Phill Kline maintains innocence

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline spent this week defending himself before Kansas’s Board for Discipline of Attorneys against claims that his personal pro-life feelings led him to instigate investigations into abortion providers — specifically George Tiller and Planned Parenthood.

Kline, who served as attorney general from 2003 to 2007, has been under an ethics investigation in Kansas for over five years.

The former attorney general has the distinction of being the first to have successfully leveled charges against Planned Parenthood (the charges are still pending) and has also been championed by the pro-life movement for bringing charges against George Tiller for performing late term abortions.

The accusations leveled against Kline include misleading officials and mishandling patients’ medical records.

If Kline is found guilty, the board would decide his punishment. The punishment could include the loss of his law license, censure or admonishment.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Kline said he had the truth on his side and explained some of the intricacies of the case, including his reasons for prosecuting cases against Tiller and Planned Parenthood.

“My duty is to enforce the law and the evidence demonstrated sufficient concern about illegality, and every judge who’s reviewed the evidence found probable cause that Planned Parenthood had committed fraud.” he said. “I charged Dr. Tiller with performing an illegal late-term abortion. And evidence demonstrated he performed abortions late-term – once because the mother did not want to hire a babysitter to go to a rock concert. And Kansas law restricts late-term abortions unless doctors find that the mother would suffer severe harm, and none of his abortions met that standard.”

While Planned Parenthood still faces litigation in Kansas, Tiller — who was murdered in 2009 — had the charges against him dropped.

During the week’s panel proceedings, Kline was adamant about his innocence.

“I was willing to lose my job to do the right thing, to follow the law, follow the evidence for legitimate prosecution,” Kline told the panel during his nearly 20 hours of testimony over the course of the eight-day hearing. “But it was the right thing, according to the law, and I would do it again.”

When asked when a decision would come down, Kline told TheDC that even after 5 years the process is far from over.