Clark rules Foulston did not “acquiesce.”
Contact: Troy Newman, President, 316-841-1700; Cheryl Sullenger, Outreach & Media Coordinator, 316-516-3034; both with Operation Rescue
WICHITA, Kansas, Dec. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Charges remain dismissed against late-term abortionist George R. Tiller after Judge Paul W. Clark refused to overturn his ruling that Kline had no authority to file the charges in Sedgwick County without the invitation or “acquiescence” of District Attorney Nola Foulston, in spite of clear statutory law to the contrary.
Assistant Attorney General Steven Maxwell presented arguments that Kline did in fact have the authority to file because the matter fell under the jurisdictional guidelines of a criminal inquiry. Those rules allow an attorney general to file in any county in Kansas, according to Maxwell.
District Attorney Nola Foulston became animated during her arguments as she asserted that she and she alone held the authority to prosecute criminal cases in the 18th District Court. “The District Attorney is being usurped by some out-of towner on his way out as Attorney General,” Foulston said in a loud, angry voice. “I control the prosecution of cases I this jurisdiction!”
A reporter in the audience who was representing a Christian-based radio station audibly responded, “Yes, that’s the problem.” She immediately complied with Judge Clark’s request that she remove herself from the courtroom.
“At that point I was starting to wonder about Foulston’s ability to control her emotions,” said Operation Rescue staff member Cheryl Sullenger, who was present at the hearing. “It was clear that she took this all very personally, and as an attack on her power and authority, terms she repeatedly used during what I would describe as a tirade. It was very clear that Nola rules the roost in Sedgwick County and even the judges are afraid to oppose her.”
Foulston created a moment of drama in the court when she mistakenly asserted that the statute of limitations had expired on each of the 30 counts filed last week by Kline. However, Maxwell pointed out that he was surprised to hear that Foulston was unfamiliar with the fact that the legislature had extended the statute of limitations from three to five years on charges of this nature.
Maxwell told the court that Kline plans to appoint Wichita attorney Don McKinney as special independent prosecutor of the Tiller case. He also expressed that the Attorney General’s office would reserve the right to appeal.
Attorney General Phill Kline did not attend the hearing, but appeared in the courthouse afterwards to answer questions of the media. He stated that Foulston cited no relevant case law to support her position.
In the end, Clark said the motion rested on whether or not Foulston “acquiesced.” Maxwell insisted that she did, and only objected after the case was filed. Foulston insisted she did not. Clark arbitrarily ruled, based on nothing in particular, that Foulston did not “acquiesce,” leaving the case dismissed.
“This just goes to show the political muscle Tiller flexes in this state,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who was also present at the hearing. “But this case is far from over. We strongly believe that once an appeals court hears the arguments, the charges will be reinstated. We won’t rest until Tiller is brought to justice for these crimes.”