The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday to indefinitely suspend former attorney general Phill Kline’s law license, after finding that he engaged in ethical misconduct by pursuing charges against abortion providers.
The court ruled that Kline broke professional conduct rules and committed violations to advance his investigations, including misleading his employees and encouraging employees to mislead others, like a grand jury.
"If this is the standard of honesty in Kansas,” Kline’s attorney Tom Condit responded, “there are a lot of attorneys who are going to be taking a long vacation.”
Kline was also found to have made false or misleading statements to the Supreme Court about handling and obtaining patients records during criminal investigations.
The former attorney general’s cases included investigations into George Tiller, the doctor killed in 2009 for providing abortions, and Planned Parenthood, which he accused of conducting illegal abortions and falsifying records.
“Planned Parenthood said throughout this long ordeal Mr. Kline was pursuing a political witch hunt based on his ideological and political views, not the law," Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri CEO Peter Brownlie said. "Today’s unanimous decision confirms we were right."
Kline will be eligible to reapply for his license in three years, according to the Kansas City Star.