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Morrison’s lover must testify in Tiller case

Paul Morrison’s former lover has to appear in a Wichita courtroom next month during a hearing for Wichita abortion provider George Tiller, an Arkansas judge ruled Monday.

Newton County (Ark.) Circuit Judge John Putman determined that Linda Carter was a material witness in Tiller’s case, set to resume the week of Jan. 6 in Sedgwick County District Court.

Morrison and his predecessor as attorney general, Phill Kline, are also set to testify in the hearing, which began in November and was postponed until next month.

Tiller is charged with having an improper financial relationship with a doctor who gave second medical opinions to women seeking late-term abortions.

But Tiller’s lawyers said Carter’s sexual relationship with Morrison fueled outrageous conduct by the state’s top prosecutors and led to illegal charges against Tiller.

Tiller’s lawyers are asking Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens to dismiss the case.

Carter’s affair with Morrison forced him to resign as Kansas attorney general, six months after he had filed 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller. Carter worked as an administrator in the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office for Morrison and Kline.

Morrison’s charges were based on evidence Kline collected during a three-year investigation of Tiller that began in 2003, shortly after Kline assumed office.

After being defeated by Morrison for re-election as attorney general in 2006, Kline was named by Johnson County Republicans to replace Morrison as district attorney. Carter remained in the district attorney’s office.

Wichita attorney Dan Monnat, who represents Tiller, said Carter became a go-between in Kline’s effort to push Morrison for criminal charges against Tiller.

“Carter tried to influence Morrison while Carter was an employee of Kline, and while Carter enjoyed a position of influence over Morrison,” Monnat said.

Morrison filed the charges against Tiller in June 2007. The following December, details about Morrison’s affair with Carter emerged, forcing him to resign as attorney general.

Steve Six, the current attorney general, decided to pursue the charges against Tiller.

Monnat had tried for months to serve a subpoena on Carter, who had moved from Kansas. A process server eventually found Carter in Western Grove, Ark.

Carter challenged the subpoena to return to Kansas. Putman examined statements Carter had made to an investigator for the

Johnson County District Attorney’s Office before ruling that she was a material witness in Tiller’s case.

The judge also ordered Tiller’s defense to pay $1,000 in travel expenses for Carter.

By RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle