The Kansas Federal government Ethics Fee moved Wednesday to grant a new listening to in a case involving an Overland Park civic team, right after questions were being raised about the legislation license of the body’s director, Mark Skoglund.
The transfer comes months after Skoglund’s regulation license was utilized as pretense by legislators to make a plan transform that would have successfully eliminated him from workplace.
Though lawmakers at some point backed off on the plan, it was later on exposed the proposal was offered as the Ethics Fee was investigating one particular of the state’s most higher-profile groups and, likely, Republican legislators.
The concerns about Skoglund’s standing as an attorney arrived following he testified in the situation of Contemporary Eyesight OP, an Overland Park civic group that the Ethics Fee afterwards determined to be a political committee.
Team users argued Contemporary Eyesight OP, integrated as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, was founded merely as a way of doing the job on community troubles. But the Ethics Fee said mailers the group despatched in the 2021 mayoral election ran afoul of the state’s campaign finance guidelines.
Situation in query involves Overland Park civic team
Skoglund was the lone witness in the case and was not put underneath oath, ostensibly for the reason that he is an attorney. It was afterwards mentioned by a member of the commission that he was obligated to be forthright mainly because of his standing as a law firm.
Skoglund’s law license is presently suspended, although he claimed at the time this was due to his decision not to spend requisite charges and comprehensive continuing education and learning demands.
But Joshua Ney, an lawyer retained by Fresh Vision OP, submitted a motion in search of to dismiss the scenario or get hold of a rehearing, arguing Skoglund misrepresented his status as an lawyer, one thing which would be a violation of condition statute.
Skoglund mentioned in an affidavit that the problem was not “material” to the debate and later sought to amend his testimony to efficiently be sworn, a transfer he argued negates the basis for the motion.
“The situation of whether or not his license is suspended is immaterial,” Brent Berry, the ethics commission’s authorized counsel, claimed all through a hearing Wednesday. “There is no ethical duty to cure or proper a assertion by yet another individual when it is not product to a circumstance.”
But Ney argued the unsworn testimony really should not have been admitted as proof, leaving no basis for the ruling versus Contemporary Eyesight OP.
Also, he explained there was no foundation for allowing for Skoglund to “cure” his testimony after the reality, arguing it trampled on the legal rights of his customer to concern the director.
“The procedural or owing-method violations of my clients’ rights outweigh any specialized violation that may have been alleged,” he said.
No cause was available publicly for why a new listening to was granted. The determination was made following the commission went into a shut-door assembly for 10 minutes to focus on the make any difference.
Opportunity probe into Kansas Chamber, legislators disclosed
Legislators tried to oust Skoglund previous month by inserting a requirement into an unrelated bill that would have needed the leader of the company billed with administering and enforcing the state’s campaign finance and ethics laws have a legislation license in excellent standing for a few many years as of July 1, 2022.
Skoglund would not have met that standards.
In the resulting chaos, it was confirmed by the Kansas Chamber that it experienced been subpoenaed by the Ethics Fee, nevertheless it denied wrongdoing and claimed the action was aspect of an “extreme fishing expedition.”
The legislative brouhaha was alluded to by John Solbach, who presided more than the listening to, indicating “we are a creature of the Legislature” and showing to admonish Ney for involving legislators in the circumstance.
“I know that you or your client has long gone to the Legislature to remind us we are a creature of the Legislature,” Solbach explained. “We understand that.”
Afterwards in the hearing, Berry objected to allowing for Skoglund to be deposed in the Fresh new Vision OP circumstance, declaring Ney “has ulterior motives” in the subject, while he was “not at liberty” to say why he thought that to be real.
“I consider challenge with that representation,” Ney explained in response.
Andrew Bahl is a senior statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be arrived at at [email protected] or by phone at 443-979-6100.
This article at first appeared on Topeka Cash-Journal: Kansas Ethics Fee to redo hearing right after law license issues