Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison has been engulfed in a sex scandal that the state's governor said yesterday could end in his resignation.
On Sunday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Mr. Morrison and Linda Carter, who worked for him when he was Johnson County district attorney, had a two-year sexual affair. Mr. Morrison and Mrs. Carter, both of whom are married, had liaisons on business trips and in public buildings and courthouses, sometimes during working hours.
On Nov. 8, Mrs. Carter filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in which she said she was pressured by Mr. Morrison to join a federal case involving some of his colleagues and an abortion-related feud with his predecessor.
She said Mr. Morrison threatened to sidetrack her efforts to find another job and asked her repeatedly about an ongoing investigation into Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM). She quit her job as administrative director on Nov. 30.
Mr. Morrison said Sunday that he had a "consensual relationship" with Mrs. Carter but that "any allegation that I used the relationship to influence litigation is absolutely false."Meanwhile yesterday, a 15-member grand jury began examining the practices of the Planned Parenthood clinic, said Brian Burgess, spokesman for the office of Phill Kline, the chief prosecutor for Johnson County and Mr. Morrison's nemesis.Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said yesterday that if Mrs. Carter's statements are true, Mr. Morrison should resign.
"One deals with his conduct as an attorney in the D.A.'s office, the other is as an employer, and I think either one should trigger a resignation," Mrs. Sebelius, a Democrat, told reporters.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A Juicy Scandal From Kansas
Ordinarily, I don't much care about politician sex scandals--but it appears that there is significant interaction between the sex scandal and the official duties of the Kansas Attorney-General--and that makes it important as a reminder that absolute power should be regarded with concern, not just because absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton observed, but because we do not elect angels to public office. Some are worse than others, of course, but we should never put too much power in the hands of any official just because of this danger. From the December 11, 2007 Washington Times: