AG ‘lacks jurisdiction’ to oust Kansas lawmaker tied to false attack ad

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 4:08 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 4:09 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a statement Tuesday regarding the investigation of State Representative Michael Capps referred from the Office of the Sedgwick County District Attorney.

Schmidt said his office was asked to review results from the investigation conducted by the district attorney’s office. He said he was asked to look into Capps’ behavior and determine whether the facts and the law supported filing a civil action seeking a court order to oust Capps as a state representative.

Schmidt said each house of the legislature is responsible for the expulsion or censure of its own members. Per the Kansas Constitution, he said Kansas courts are powerless in the matter and lack jurisdiction.

“The only ways to involuntarily remove a state representative from office are electoral defeat coupled with expiration of the term of office, recall, or expulsion by vote of the House of Representatives itself.,” said Schimidt.

Capps was defeated in the primary election on August 4, and is now less than six weeks from the end of his term of office. Schmidt said under Kansas law, a recall application may not be filed in the last 200 days of a legislator’s term of office. The attorney general’s office will now refer the file to leaders of the House of Representatives.

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