DECEMBER 11, 2007
A state attorney general whose campaign centered on professional integrity has admitted having an extramarital affair with a staffer who accuses him of sexual harassment and trying to influence a federal lawsuit involving a political foe.
Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison had a two-year affair with one of his employees in the Johnson County District Attorney’s office, where he worked for nearly two decades before being elected state attorney general. Both parties were married and the affair was carried out in empty government offices and on business trips.
When Morrison became attorney general earlier this year, he pressured his mistress (Linda Carter), the administration director at the district attorney’s office, to get him sensitive information about her new boss, Morrison’s political adversary. Carter also says her former lover the attorney general pressured her to write letters on behalf of employees dismissed when her new boss took over the office.
The attorney general admits having the romantic affair but denies harassing his former employee/mistress or pressuring her to get sensitive information on her new boss. Morrison maintains that he has earned a reputation as one of Kansas’ toughest prosecutors and as a leader of exceptional professional integrity and extraordinary personal character.
One hometown newspaper editorial paints a much different portrait of the veteran prosecutor, however. It writes that Morrison is mortally wounded and that the public can’t be expected to have confidence in his professional integrity when he’s displayed such a dearth of personal integrity.
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