Kansas court lawyer fired for inappropriate tweet

KANSAS CITY, Kansas Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:24pm EST

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - A state appeals court attorney in Kansas was fired on Monday for inappropriate comments on Twitter about former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who faces a state Supreme Court ethics review over cases he handled against abortion providers while in office.

As Kline's case was heard before the state Supreme Court last Thursday, Sarah Peterson Herr, a research attorney for the Kansas Court of Appeals, tweeted about the expressions on his face, writing "Why is Phil Klein (sic) smiling? There is nothing to smile about, douche bag."

Ron Keefover, a spokesman for the Kansas Supreme Court, said Herr was originally suspended Friday pending further investigation and dismissed on Monday.

Herr could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Kline, a conservative crusader against abortion, could have his law license indefinitely suspended if he is found to have acted unethically.

A Kansas disciplinary panel for lawyers has ruled that Kline, who was attorney general from 2003 to 2007, had committed "ethical misconduct" and recommended suspension of his license.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy; Editing by Todd Eastham)

(This story was refiled to correct the state to Kansas throughout)

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