TOPEKA, Kan. (CN) – The Kansas Supreme Court’s disciplinary office has launched a probe on claims of misconduct by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in voting-rights cases.
The investigation began last week after Keri Strahler, a Democratic committee member, filed a complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Administration. In the letter, obtained by the Associated Press, Strahler wrote that there are “ethical questions surrounding Kobach’s behavior as an attorney.”
The Supreme Court’s disciplinary arm receives about 800 complaints a year but only opens investigations in about a third of them, according to the Associated Press.
The agency’s panel of three lawyers will investigate Strahler’s complaint and submit their findings to the Supreme Court if they conclude misconduct took place. Kobach could face possible censure or disbarment if Strahler’s complaint is found to be true.
Kobach, 51, also serves as vice-chair of President Donald Trump’s advisory election-integrity committee, which made headlines last month when Kobach sent letters to every state asking for detailed voter information.
The architect of several Kansas voter ID laws, Kobach claims voter fraud is rampant across the nation. In Kansas, he faces an ongoing lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union concerning a state law requiring voters to provide proof of birth documents in order to register.
Last month, Kobach was fined $1,000 by U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara for misleading the court regarding the nature of voting-policy documents he was photographed with in a November meeting with Trump. O’Hara’s ruling stated Kobach engaged in “deceptive conduct and lack of candor” by telling the court such documents did not exist when the ACLU asked to view them.
“It just irks me to no end that he should act that way in our courts,” Strahler said in an interview with the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Kobach’s spokeswoman Samantha Poetter said in an email Monday that Kobach had no comment and was still reviewing the complaint.