Last year ex-GOPer Paul Morrison decided he'd rather party with the Democrats if it meant he could defeat his arch-nemesis in the Kansas attorney general election. After his party switch, Morrison was elected Kansas attorney general but last week a torrid sex-and-politics scandal caused him to announce his resignation, effective January 31, 2008.
Name sound familiar? A few weeks ago we wrote about how the former Kansas Attorney General, Phill Kline, had been skipping work and living outside of the county he was supposed to be prosecutor for. Sprinkled throughout the story were mentions of Kline's political rival Paul Morrison, who had essentially switched jobs with Kline, stepping up to Attorney General and leaving the post of Johnson County District Attorney.
Now Morrison's in the muck. It started with a quickie at the courthouse with a female employee of his office. Many more quickies followed, in county offices and motels throughout Kansas and in at least three other states, in what became a two-year long extramarital affair between Morrison and Linda Carter, the longtime Johnson County District Attorney's Office director of administration.
Morrison won the attorney general election in August 2006, one year after the couple's first tryst. In December 2006, he bought her a $16,000 engagement ring, although they were both still married. Around the same time, Phill Kline became Johnson County District Attorney, and Carter's new boss.
By November 2007, the illicit romance had seriously soured. Carter filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on November 8, resigning three weeks later. (She wasn't the first person to accuse Morrison of indiscretion -- a different female employee of the Johnson County's DA's office filed two lawsuits accusing him of inappropriate conduct fifteen years ago, but dropped them.)
Amid the sexual harassment claims, the suit alleges that Morrison tried to have his girlfriend spy on the enemy. Carter retained her position in the DA's office when Kline came in to head it, and her suit says Morrison tried to have her snoop into Kline's ongoing criminal investigation of Planned Parenthood, and regularly questioned her about its progress. She also says Morrison repeatedly tried to coerce her into advocating for the eight former Morrison colleagues who Kline fired. Then, when the relationship began to fall apart, Morrison called her 22 times in one day, threatening to ruin her career.
Morrison has admitted to the affair but denies the allegations in Carter's lawsuit. He has said that Carter and Kline are trying to smear him for their own benefit.
Carter's statements portray Morrison as a man haunted by the twin obsessions of love and hate.
Consumed by passion:
...According to Carter's statement, Morrison also made five back-to-back telephone calls from Lenexa to her at about 4 a.m. In part, Morrison wanted to know whether Carter had obtained a tattoo to demonstrate her commitment to him. She hadn't, her statement said, despite Morrison's acquisition of a tattoo.
Yet possessed by loathing:
In the twilight of their extramarital affair, Linda Carter urged Paul Morrison to let her go, repair his shattered marriage and resolve his hatred of Phill Kline.
If not, Carter said, Morrison's life would remain a powder keg. A destructive fireball, when eventually triggered, would consume all in his wake: wife, children, friends, colleagues â even Carter.
It appears her prediction that Morrison's "hatred of Kline was going to destroy" him may be coming true. Kline has secured the power to handpick the special prosecutor who will investigation Morrison.