A Kansas prosecutor, found by a disciplinary panel to have carried out a deliberate pattern of misconduct, resigned Wednesday.
Jacqie Spradling, the Bourbon County Attorney, resigned weeks after a three-member panel in Kansas’ Office of the Disciplinary Administrator said in a report that she had taken a “win at all costs” approach, resulting in the reversal of two high-profile cases.
The disciplinary office said Spradling used “misstatements and misdirection” to persuade juries in both cases and made references to evidence that did not exist.
In a Bourbon County Commission meeting last week, community member Michael Braim urged officials to push Spradling out of the position.
“When prosecutors create misconduct like this and it lets criminals walk free, it makes our community dangerous,” Braim said.
In a letter provided to The Star, Spradling told the commission Wednesday that she was “retiring” effective June 30th.
Spradling’s case was heard before the disciplinary panel in December after two complaints were filed against her.
Both the complainants, Keen Umbehr and Wendy Ewing, said they still hoped to see Spradling disbarred. The Kansas Supreme Court will review the panel’s report and make a final decision.
“She does not need to be representing Kansas in any criminal cases because she lies, she makes up evidence,” Umbehr said. He added that her actions make it hard for a defendant to trust they’ll get a fair trial.
Umbehr, an attorney, brought the first complaint in July 2016, following a 2012 double murder trial in Shawnee County. Dana Chandler, 61, was convicted of killing her ex-husband and his fiancee.
A second complaint was made after Jacob Ewing was convicted of rape and other sex crimes in 2017 in Holton, north of Topeka.
Ewing’s mother, Wendy Ewing, submitted the complaint.
“I hope that ... it teaches every prosecutor kind of a lesson or an eye opener that it can be done,” Wendy Ewing said. “It took letter writing and patience but we finally got it done.”
Jacob Ewing is scheduled for sentencing Friday after he accepted a plea deal.
In overturning the Chandler case, the Kansas Supreme Court said Spradling engaged in prosecutorial misconduct. The disciplinary office said Spradling made seven errors during the trial, including presenting evidence that was not true, making an improper comment in hopes of gaining sympathy, and disregarding a judge’s order to avoid making reference to people attending the trial.
Chandler’s second trial is scheduled for March 2022.
The Star’s Katie Moore contributed to this report.