Diary

Ethics Commission declines action on $17,500 claim in Free Speech case (video)

Kris Van Meteren (left) watches attorney Ryan Kriegshauser (right) present $17,500 claim to Ethics Commission

Kris Van Meteren (left) watches attorney Ryan Kriegshauser (right) present $17,500 claim to Ethics Commission

 Frustrated that the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission took no action on a complaint, last August Kris Van Meteren talked to the press explaining some details in his complaint. But,  Kansas law currently gags someone after filing an ethics complaint — even after the Commission fails to act — and Van Meteren was fined $7500 for his “free speech” in February.

The Kansas Attorney General opined in May that the Kansas law was unconstitutional, but Van Meteren had spent $17,500 in attorney fees defending his first amendment right.

Today, Van Meteren presented a claim for $17,500 to the Ethics commission for his legal fees, but the commission said it did not have the authority to grant or deny the request.  Van Meteren may now take his case to Federal Court to seek relief for defending himself against an unconstitutional law in the Ethics Commission hearing.

The five minute video below shows attorney Ryan Kriegshauser give background information on the case, followed by the actual discussion by the Ethics Commission on whether it had legal authority to accept or reject Van Meteren’s claim.  The video ends with several local press members discussing the case with Krieghauser.

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