Is Kansas Governor Sebelius on both sides of some recent issues?
Sebelius was not critical of DNA evidence obtained from medical
records to catch the BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) murder in Wichita according
to recent press accounts, but is critical of using medical records to
help children that may be abused by predators? So, is Sebelius
"for" or "against the use of medical records by law enforcement
to catch criminals?
Sunday's Kansas City Star reported
likely to play key role in BTK case
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius told The Associated Press on
Saturday that DNA evidence was the key to cracking the case.
Today's Wichita Eagle reported that medical records of Dennis
Rader's daughter played a key part in the BTK investigation:
DNA came from medical file
Source: Daughter's records were subpoenaed
The Wichita Eagle
Investigators -- trying to hide from Dennis Rader that they were
zeroing in on him as a BTK suspect -- obtained DNA before his arrest
through a tissue sample linked to his daughter's medical records,
That sample was obtained for testing without her knowledge,
the sources said.
Sources familiar with the investigation also say that after
Rader's arrest Friday, the FBI took a DNA sample from his daughter at
her Michigan home to help confirm an earlier finding.
Before the arrest, Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents on the
BTK task force were concerned that the suspect could flee or "do
something drastic" if he knew authorities were seeking his
daughter's DNA, said a source close to the investigation.
. . .
Federal privacy law restricts access to medical records.
Among the exceptions is when law enforcement needs medical
records for investigations, Wichita lawyer Chuck Millsap said.
The principle is that the need to conduct an investigation
outweighs a need for privacy, he said.
What kind of tissue tied to a woman's medical records could
be kept on file at a lab?
Bruce Bammel, a Wichita doctor obstetrics and gynecology, said
that could include various tissue samples -- everything from a skin
biopsy to a Pap smear -- that can be preserved indefinitely and
No where in press reports does Sebelius complain about medical
records being used to find the BTK killer. Why is Sebelius now
critical of Attorney General Kline's efforts to help young girls that
may have been abused by sexual predators?
legislators rap Kline
Eagle Topeka bureau
- Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and a group of female
Democratic lawmakers criticized Attorney General Phill Kline on Friday
for seeking medical records of women and girls who have had
In separate news conferences, Sebelius and the lawmakers said
Kline's actions were an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
. . .
[Kline] said this week that those records could contain evidence
of crimes committed against underage girls. In Kansas, no one under
the age of 16 can legally consent to sex.
Will Governor Sebelius try to take some sort of credit for the recent
work of Kansas Law enforcement officials? When will Governor
Sebelius provide more financial support to law enforcement in Kansas?
Wichita Eagle (May 22, 2004)
Kathleen Sebelius crosses out funding for two projects under the
attorney general's supervision.
"Crimes will continue to go unsolved and violent criminals
will remain on our streets," Kline said. "We find this
action very harmful to the safety of Kansas."
From the Lawrence Journal-World (Sept 17, 2004):
investigations stretch KBI agents thin
. . .
Republican Attorney General Phill Kline, whose office oversees the KBI,
blames most of the funding problems in the agency on Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius, a Democrat.
"It's a serious concern," Kline said. "We have
several vacancies over there we need to fill. My budget has gone from
$6 million from the state general fund when I came into office to $3.8
million. We have people working harder, and we're spending less on
travel and furniture, being more efficient.
"I'm rowing the boat when it comes to tough economic
Kline criticized Sebelius' veto of funding to create a
white-collar crime division in his office, while the governor's office
"The KBI over a period of years has not been a budget
priority, and we need to change that," Kline said.
Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said the governor believes
the KBI is adequately funded.
Wichita Eagle (Sept 21, 2004)
says he'll revive absconder task force
A highly publicized effort by the Kansas attorney general to
capture violent former inmates who skip out on their parole officers
On Monday, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline said the program
became victim to budget constraints and strained workloads.
Why doesn't Sebelius do more to help law enforcement officers in
Sebelius more interested in helping a long-time political contributor,
or young girls that may have been the victims of crimes?
Kansas don't even know how mad the citizens of Greenwood County are at
Sebelius when their sheriff was recently murdered and Sebelius
refused to order flags to fly at half-staff in his honor.