A Kansas legislator has filed a complaint claiming judicial misconduct against a district judge, who failed to disclose his financial ties to the state's most notorious abortion provider before tossing the 30 misdemeanor charges against him.
State Sen. Tim Huelskamp has alleged District Judge Paul W. Clark committed judicial misconduct in the investigation of abortionist George Tiller, who was under investigation by then-Attorney General Phil Kline for illegal late-term abortions, failures to report properly the details to state health officials, and failure to report suspected child sexual abuse.
"Judge Clark failed to disclose on the record his financial ties with abortionist Tiller and DA Foulston while ruling in their favor," reads the complaint lodged today by Huelskamp with the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications (KCJQ). The complaint requests the KCJQ "take appropriate disciplinary action, and thereby preserve and protect the public trust in the judicial system of the State of Kansas."
For two years, outgoing Attorney General Phil Kline pursued an investigation into Tiller's activities resulting in 30 criminal misdemeanor charges. However, December 22, 2006, Judge Clark dismissed the charges — a day after Kline filed his criminal case — at the behest of Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, who claimed the AG had no jurisdiction in the matter unless she gave her consent, and she had no intention of prosecuting Tiller.
Operation Rescue (OR) investigated and exposed Judge Clark's campaign finance ties with Dan Monnet, the attorney representing Tiller, and with DA Foulston. Records show they both contributed $500 to Clark's election campaign in 2004.
Judge Clark held the hearing with Monnet and Foulston present, but did not notify Kline, who then had to dispatch lawyers to defend his right under Kansas law to prosecute Tiller at later separate hearings. The judge's maneuvers, however, killed Kline's investigation into Tiller, since Kline had to vacate the AG office on Jan. 8 to pro-abortion Democrat Paul Morrison. Morrisson then fired the special prosecutor Kline appointed to bypass Clark's decision and handle charges against Tiller.
"We think this is a very serious charge," Huelskamp said according to the Associated Press. The senator stated Judge Clark's haste to dismiss the result of Kline's two-year investigation against Tiller gave an appearance that the campaign contributions influenced his decision.
Rules established by the Kansas Supreme Court require a judge to recuse himself from a case "in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
Huelskamp charges Clark had 3 opportunities to disclose his campaign ties with Foulston and Monnet and wants the KCJQ to investigate any illegal private conversations Clark may have made with Monnet and DA Foulston.
"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," OR President Troy Newman said in a press release. Newman added that Clark should be held accountable for his actions to restore Americans' confidence in the justice system.
Narrative of complaint filed against Clark can be found here.
Links to the complete complaint can be found at the Operation Rescue Website.