Kansas Officials Under Investigation For Ethical Misconduct In Botched Planned Parenthood Prosecution

Topeka, KS – Operation Rescue has been informed by the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator that ethics complaints filed against Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe have been docketed and will be investigated.

The complaints, filed by Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger, involve allegations of professional misconduct — including lying to a District Court Judge — that resulted in the fraudulent dismissal of 107 criminal charges against Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood in Overland Park. That Planned Parenthood had been charged with illegal late-term abortions and manufacturing evidence to cover crimes by former prosecutor Phill Kline in 2007. The last of the charges were dismissed in August, 2012.

Sullenger received documentation through an open records act request from Shawnee County Judge Richard Anderson, which proved that evidence Howe and Schmidt said was destroyed actually still existed months after Howe persuaded District Court Judge Stephen Tatum to drop the most serious charges against Planned Parenthood under false pretenses.

Records that Sullenger submitted with her ethics complaints show that Howe and Schmidt knew Anderson maintained possession of the evidence at the time of their deception.

“We understand that prosecutors have wide authority to determine what cases will be prosecuted, but they do not have the authority to lie to a judge and deceive the public in order to destroy a prosecution, and that is exactly what Schmidt and Howe did,” said Sullenger.

Tim Golba, former Past State President of Kansans for Life, requested to be added as a complainant in the ethics case against Howe.

Operation Rescue continues to call for the resignation of Schmidt and Howe, both Republicans, as not being fit to serve.

“We caught them red-handed engaging in professional misconduct and have the documents to prove it,” said Sullenger. “Right now there is no confidence that our current abortion laws with be enforced. If Schmidt and Howe would go to these lengths to destroy a strong case against Planned Parenthood in which three Kansas judges have ruled probable cause exists to believe crimes were committed, they certainly won’t enforce any other abortion law, leaving the lives of women at risk. Since Schmidt and Howe used deception to justify their refusal to enforce Kansas law, resignation is not only called for, but is necessary to protect women from abortion businesses that break the law.”

Background with links to documents
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