The Wichita Eagle reports today that Eric Rucker, former top assistant to Kansas State Attorney General Phil Kline, faces a formal
ethics complaint that he made misleading comments before the Kansas
Supreme Court in attempts to prosecute Dr. George Tiller for violations of Kansas law for which Tiller was repeatedly found innocent.
The complaint, released by the Kansas disciplinary investigator, alleges that Rucker made misleading comments before
the Kansas Supreme Court and used flawed statistics to back up a
“The allegations stem from Kline’s investigation of abortion clinics,” reports the Eagle.
“Rucker’s complaint will go before a disciplinary panel in April; the
panel will determine whether Rucker violated ethical rules for
attorneys and will decide whether to recommend any disciplinary actions
to the Supreme Court. Punishment could range from nothing to disbarment.”
The complaint against Rucker alleges that he knew data used to
support the investigation of abortion clinics in district court was
flawed but took no “action to correct the misrepresentations previously
made to the court,” according to the Eagle.
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Also, the complaint accuses Rucker of making false statements before the Kansas Supreme Court.
Rucker represented Kline before the court in 2005. At the time, the
court was considering a lawsuit by abortion providers intent on
stopping Kline’s investigation. Rucker told the court that his office
wasn’t trying to identify adult women who received abortions.
However, the office was reviewing the guest list of a Wichita hotel
used by patients of George Tiller, and cross checking it with state
abortion data. Investigators were also recording the license plates of
cars in Tiller’s parking lot in an attempt to identify their owners.
During a meeting last year with the state’s judicial disciplinary
administrator, Rucker said he didn’t know about these efforts during
his arguments before the high court. But according to the complaint
released today, the disciplinary administrator’s office determined that
his explanation was “false and misleading.”
The Eagle further notes that “Kline investigated both Tiller’s clinic and a Planned Parenthood
clinic in Overland Park, accusing both of violating state restrictions
on abortion. So far, none of the cases has resulted in a conviction.”