Report: Attorneys fees racking up on ex-Kan. AG's ethics case

Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 18, 2011, 1:30pm


TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansans have reportedly spent more than $500,000 to defend former Attorney General Phill Kline and two aides in their ethics cases before the state's Board for Disclipline of Attorneys.

The Topeka Capital-Journal recently obtained that figure, along with others, from the Attorney General's Office through an open records request.

Of the $529,487 spent to defend Kline, Eric Rucker and Stephen Maxwell, $403,528 alone was spent in legal fees and expenses for Kline, the newspaper reported.

Kline served as attorney general from 2003 to 2007 and served as Johnson County District Attorney from 2007 to 2009. He allegedly violated the state's ethics code during that time.

The former attorney general alleged illegal late-term abortions were being done at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park and at an abortion provider in Wichita. He also alleged failure to report abuse at the two clinics, according to the Capital-Journal.

Of the $529,487, the state has spent $125,959 to defend Rucker and Maxwell, the records request showed.

Under the Kansas Tort Claims Act, the state must pay for legal fees for current or former state officials and employees who are named defendants in lawsuits. The attorney general then must provide a defense for the person.

Jeff Wagaman, a spokesman with the Kansas Attorney General's Office, told the newspaper that if the employee loses the suit, he or she doesn't have to reimburse the state's attorneys fees.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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