TOPEKA, Kan., Aug. 20, 2012 /Christian Newswire --
New documents obtained by Operation Rescue through Kansas Open Records Act requests prove that records crucial to the criminal prosecution of Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Overland Park that were said to have been destroyed currently exist and were placed under seal in the custody of the Shawnee County Clerk of the Court by Judge Richard Anderson on January 12, 2012.
The documents include a Protective Order filed in Shawnee County District Court Case 04-IQ-3 that detailed the contents of the records, which included redacted copies of abortion medical records from Planned Parenthood and original copies of Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Termination of Pregnancy (T.O.P.) Forms obtained through subpoena by former Attorney General Phill Kline during his investigation of abortion clinics.
The T.O.P. documents from KDHE and those contained in Planned Parenthood's abortion files were the basis of the 49 most serious charges against Planned Parenthood that involved manufacturing evidence.
Those charges were dismissed at the request of District Attorney Steve Howe on November 9, 2011, after Howe wrongly told Judge Stephen Tatum that the only two other copies in existence that could authenticate the copies held by his office had been destroyed, making a prosecution impossible.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to investigate the records destruction. That investigation was conducted from November, 2011, through February, 2012. In the middle of that investigation on January 11, 2012, Judge Anderson moved the records to the custody of the Clerk of the Court issued the Protective Order obtained last week by Operation Rescue, creating a record that the evidence existed and exactly where and how it could be found. Yet Taylor's "investigation" never determined what happened to the incriminating evidence against Planned Parenthood.
"Judge Anderson did everything but send up flares to let everyone know the evidence still existed. No one bothered to ask," said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. Sullenger obtained the documents from Judge Anderson after reading that Kline believed that Anderson still had the evidence in his possession.
"If it was that easy for me to document that the evidence was not destroyed but was safely in the custody of a Kansas judge, why couldn't two DAs and an Attorney General figure it out? It's obvious that it was a deceptive effort to conceal the fact that the evidence still existed so the charges could be dropped."
The Anderson documents also indicate that neither Howe nor Taylor ever formally inquired about the evidence held by Anderson, even though a clear record of his possession existed, including pages of discussion of the matter in the Kansas Supreme Court Ruling that remanded the criminal case back to Howe for prosecution.
"This is evidence that proves that the 49 charges dismissed in November, 2011, at the request of Howe were dropped under false pretenses. It further indicates the likelihood the dismissal was the result of a wide-spread criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, a conclusion that is supported by other evidence as well as by the dismissal of the rest of the charges on Friday based on weak and refutable excuses from Howe and Schmidt," said Sullenger.
"Because of that and more, we demand the immediate resignation of District Attorney Steve Howe and Attorney General Derek Schmidt, an investigation into the political corruption that destroyed Phill Kline's strong criminal case, and a dismissal of the politically motivated ethics case that is pending against Kline."