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Stan Hazlett

Stan Hazlett

The director of Kansas’ state attorney ethics division, Stan Hazlett, is facing serious charges of his own, basically that he was “dishonest,” “unfair,”and broke the rules governing discipline of attorneys.While similar charges against Hazlett are part of the Phill Kline defense (discussed below), scathing allegations against Hazlett were filed in a May 2012 legal brief (that fills a three-inch deep binder) by Alma attorney, Keen Umbehr. Umbehr says he has been victimized by Hazlett,

who pressed for disciplinary action against Umbehr without having received the required decision from a 3-person disciplinary review panel that there was “probable cause” that ethical violations were committed.

Umbehr was the subject of a complaint to Hazlett initiated by the director of the state department of women’ corrections. Umbehr had shown the temerity to expose the scandal of sex between guards and inmates, including drugs and a procured abortion.

The resulting explosive Topeka Capital Journal newspaper series on conditions inside the women’s prison ran in October 2009. It was written by reporter Tim Carpenter, who accompanied Umbehr when meeting with jailed clients. The scandal triggered federal investigations that continue today.

Umbehr was threatened with loss of his law license for not volunteering that Carpenter was a reporter. After two years, it was found that he had not violated any professional ethics.

Umbehr’s filing shows how Hazlett stonewalled verifying whether the ethics charges were being handled according to the rules. Umbehr alleges the initial required review panel never even convened and that Hazlett lied repeatedly about it. Umbehr’s action against Hazlett now proceeds to a panel of the state Supreme Court.

As relates to former AG Phill Kline’s protracted case, Kline’s attorney, Tom Condit issued a demand letter to Hazlett Nov, 21, for additional documentation on the working of Hazlett’s office in light of the derogatory comments tweeted by an appellate law clerk (see post here). Condit’s letter draws attention to numerous failings by Hazlett, in pursuing Kline:

There are seemingly infinite ironies between the many failings and omissions of your [Hazlett] office and …the standard of absolute perfection required of all of Mr. Kline’s acts and communications.”

Condit notes that— as in the Umbehr case— Hazlett failed to secure a written “probable cause” finding for Kline. When asked for the report, Hazlett asserted that review panel results were “oral.”  This is the same excuse Hazlett gave Umbehr, although the Rules clearly state that the panel must commit their findings to the record.

Also noteworthy in the Kline case, is that Hazlett’s own investigators did not find Kline guilty. And Hazlett ignored the “not guilty” findings of a special inquisition of Kline in 2007 and the ruling of Wichita Judge Owens on related matters.

So what compelled Hazlett to take the path he did with Kline?  The results of the legal complaint filed by attorney Umbehr may verify whether Stan Hazlett has been violating the very ethics he is in charge of enforcing.

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Phill Kline (photo by lifesitenews.com)

UPDATES: Day 1 of trial. Day 2 here. Day 3 here, here, and here. Day 4 here. Day 5 here. Day 6 here.

From this excellent NRO piece by Katherine J. Lopez: Phill Kline has been put “on trial for insisting Planned Parenthood be held accountable for what it claims to be about: women’s health care and safety.

Before there was a House vote to potentially begin to end funding of Planned Parenthood, as there was Friday; before there was a 22-year-old girl named Lila Rose leading private investigations exposing Planned Parenthood as a safe haven for pimps of underage girls; before there was a Philadelphia prosecutor exposing a “house of horrors” too long protected by abortion politics, there was Phill Kline, a law-enforcement official doing his job.

Today Kline remains the only prosecutor in the United States to have brought charges against Planned Parenthood. And for this, Planned Parenthood and its allies are determined to see him pay. As if he hasn’t already: Even when he wins it is portrayed as a defeat.

Denis Boyles, author of Superior, Nebraska: The Common Sense Values of America’s Heartland, has explained well the predicament Kline finds himself in, dragged back to his home state for one final humiliation (more…)

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When Kansas attorneys misbehave, disserve their client or  otherwise betray their responsibilities as officers of the court, complaints are supposed to be dealt with by the “Disciplinary” Administrator, Stan Hazlett.

UPDATE March 23: Rucker files new motion accusing Hazlett of  pure political posturing.

Hazlett is supposed to be the absolute model of restraint and neutrality on cases that are proceeding.  However, Hazlett has been demonstrating a pro-abortion bias in recent inappropriate comments made about an ongoing ethics case against Eric Rucker, who was chief deputy under former A.G. Phill Kline.  But who do we complain to about Hazlett?

When Rucker filed a formal motion asking for recusal of a panel member on his case with an apparent conflict of interest, Hazlett should have stayed silent.

It was up to the panel member to dispel any appearance of impropriety by recusing herself.  Secondarily, it is up to the chair of the board for the discipline of attorneys to make a ruling on the need for recusal.

Instead, Hazlett issued an opinion, excoriating Rucker’s request as “misleading, disingenuous and without merit.”   Hazlett mocked the documentary evidence as revealing “Kline’s obsession with Tiller and his clinic!”

Mr. Hazlett’s rhetoric is way out of line, particularly (more…)

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