Hyten expresses concern over request for return of funds
Lisa Hyten, victim services coordinator for Jackson County, yesterday expressed her concerns with the Jackson County Commission’s recent actions to seek potential reimbursement from Jacqie Spradling, who served as the special prosecutor for the county during the Jacob Ewing trials.
Hyten met with the commissioners about a letter written by County Counselor Lee Hendricks and then sent to County Attorney Shawna Miller “strongly urging” her to pursue “any and all reimbursement” for the county for fees paid to Spradling.
The county attorney’s office paid $80,000 to Spradling to serve as the special prosecutor for the trials.
After the trials, Ewing filed an appeal contending that Spradling made comments during closing arguments that weren’t supported by evidence.
The Kansas Court of Appeals in May 2019 agreed and reversed Ewing’s convictions, ruling that Spradling misstated evidence in closing arguments and inflamed “the passions of the jury.”
“Given the ethics complaints which have been filed and the concern about conduced expressed by the commission, they have specifically requested that you revisit her employment by the county and provide the commission with any methods you believe the taxpayer funds might be recouped for her conduct,” according to the letter Hendricks sent to Miller.
Hyten said that the letter has prompted families related to the trial to contact her with their concerns.
Hyten asked if the county was seeking funds for all the cases Spradling was involved in, as well as asked if the commissioners could explain to her what part of the Spradling contract was violated.
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