Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Judge Paul Clark
A Kansas state lawmaker has filed a formal complaint against a district judge for refusing to disclose his financial ties to the attorney of notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller and others while ruling in Tiller’s favor in a criminal case.
State Sen. Tim Kuelskamp has submitted the complaint against District Judge Paul W. Clark, which was co-signed by several leaders of national pro-life organizations, to the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications.
At issue are Clark’s repeated rulings that prevented former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline from pursuing a case involving 30 criminal counts against Tiller, who was accused of performing illegal late-term abortions and failing to provide the medical documentation the state requires for those procedures.
The complaint concerns events and “irregularities” that “raise substantial suggestions of partiality” on the part of Clark, who while ruling to dismiss the 30 criminal counts against Tiller, failed on three occasions to disclose his “funding relationships” with Tiller’s attorney, Dan Monnat, and Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, who submitted the request through which Clark dismissed the counts.
The complaint states that Clark acted improperly when he did not disqualify himself from the Tiller case and asks for the KCJQ to “take appropriate disciplinary action, and thereby preserve and protect the public trust in the judicial system of the State of Kansas.”
The state senator was joined in the complaint by national pro-life leaders including Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue; Dr. Gary Cass, executive director of Reclaiming America; Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition; Janet Folger, president of Faith2Action; Rick Scarborough of Vision America Action; and Phillip L. Jaurequi, president of Judicial Action Group.
“Judges must be held to a high standard of ethics, and we believe that Clark violated those ethics by making a ruling that showed obvious partiality,” said Newman. “The appearance of corruption has shaken the public confidence in the justice system. Americans from around the nation have come to question whether Kansas is currently capable of enforcing its own laws.”
He said Clark “should be held accountable for his unethical actions in order for that confidence to be restored.”
Leaders with Operation Rescue earlier filed their own complaint with state health regulators, asking that Tiller’s license be revoked for “committing illegal late-term abortions.”
The group filed a complaint with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts last October, and just weeks ago submitted a series of seven additional documents in support of that request, including a copy of the 30 criminal charges filed by the state’s former attorney general against Tiller.
“Our own investigations revealed that Tiller was likely doing illegal abortions. The former attorney general came to that same conclusion,” said Newman.
The criminal complaint ended up being dismissed by Clark on Foulston’s request on jurisdictional grounds, and the merits of the actual allegations never have been challenged, OR said.
In fact, two state judges reviewed the investigation and resulting complaint and approved it even before Kline filed the case, officials said.
Kansas law bans abortions past 22 weeks gestation, allowing exceptions only if the woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy will cause a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” officials said.
However, many of the late-term procedures are done with a justification of “depression,” and Operation Rescue noted that while former Attorney General Carla Stovall, an abortion supporter, allowed such mental conditions to be considered a “major bodily function” under state law, “depression” does not rise to the level of “substantial and irreversible.”
Shelly R. Wakeman, the disciplinary counsel for the healing arts board, responded that the review could take some time. “You will likely be contacted by an investigator for more information. Kansas law requires that the Board keep matters under investigation confidential. This means that unless public disciplinary action is taken against the licensees, we will be unable to advise you of the progress or of the findings of our investigation.”
Also named in the complaint was Ann Kristin Neuhaus, a Tiller associate who had been listed as a witness in the state’s case that Kline assembled against Tiller
After Clark dismissed the counts, Kline appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case, but his actions were stymied when the new attorney general, Paul Morrison, took office and fired him and requested a dismissal of the special prosecutor’s action in the state Supreme Court.