A judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors for Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six should answer nearly 500 allegations of misconduct by his predecessors.

The allegations were leveled by lawyers for Wichita abortion provider George Tiller.

Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens denied a request by Six’s office to wait until after a November hearing to respond to a motion to dismiss 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller.

Tiller faces charges stemming from the way he sought second medical opinions on fetus viability before performing late-term abortions. Tiller is one of the few doctors in the nation who perform such procedures.

Lawyers for Tiller say the charges should be dismissed because they resulted from an illegal investigation and improper conduct involving former attorneys general Phill Kline and Paul Morrison.

Owens added that he’d allow both sides to file further arguments following testimony at a weeklong hearing set for Nov. 17.

Dan Monnat, who represents Tiller, called the request to leave the allegations unanswered “zany” during Thursday’s hearing, drawing an objection from assistant attorney general Barry Disney.

“After the defense has shown its hand, the state wants to renege on its agreement, play by a different set of rules and hide its hand,” Monnat said.

“We are not playing a game,” Disney responded.

Last month, Monnat and colleague Lee Thompson filed a 156-page brief outlining 496 allegations of perceived prosecutorial misconduct, mostly by Kline, when, as attorney general, he investigated Tiller and an abortion clinic in Overland Park.

Monnat further has claimed that after leaving the attorney general’s office and taking over as Johnson County district attorney, Kline continued to exert pressure on his successor, Paul Morrison.

Morrison resigned after reportedly having an affair with an employee of the Johnson County office. Monnat has said Kline used those allegations to push Morrison into filing charges.

In an interview with The Eagle, Kline repeatedly denied he did anything wrong.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or [email protected]. All content © 2008 THE WICHITA EAGLE and may not be republished without permission.

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