Carl Maughan, Kansas lawmaker arrested in March, has had his law license suspended due to conflict of interest in murder case

A Republican Kansas lawmaker who halted his re-election campaign last month after being arrested during a traffic stop has now been banned from practicing law for at least a year for mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in that state Representative Carl Maughan of Colwich breached professional standards when he represented 57-year-old Bret Blevins in a 2016 crash that killed two men, the court said. Kansas City star. The court ruled that Maughan's actions “placed an undue burden on the resources of the criminal justice system,” the newspaper reported.

Maughan did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press on Sunday and did not respond to a phone call from the newspaper on Friday. He had previously defended his handling of the Blevins case, although Blevins is now suing Maughan over it.

ap24051776796506.jpg
Carl Maughan, R-Colwich, and Susan Humphries, right, R-Wichita, confer during a House vote on Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of a GOP tax plan, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Can.

AP Photo/John Hanna


The conflict of interest in the case arose because Maughan had previously represented Blevins' girlfriend, Tammy Akers, in DUI cases and he accepted $30,000 from Akers and her husband to defend Blevins.

Akers and Blevins were the only occupants of the vehicle that struck and killed the two men in a van. Akers served as a key witness at the trial in which Maughan blamed Akers for the crash and suggested she was the driver.

The Supreme Court ruled that the conflict of interest waivers that Maughan had Blevins and Akers sign did not adequately address the situation or fully inform them of the consequences.

Ultimately, Blevins was sentenced to more than 60 years in prison in 2017 after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter. Blevins had already been on probation for allegedly stealing a 6-foot-tall bronze eagle statue from a Boy Scouts of America council building in Wichita, CBS affiliate WIBW reported.

But the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled four years later that he deserved a new trial because of Maughan's conflicts of interest. He subsequently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to more than thirteen years in prison.

Maughan announced last month that he would withdraw from the race for his seat in the House of Representatives, but his name will still be on the ballot alongside three other Republicans because he missed the deadline for withdrawal.

He faces two misdemeanor charges and two traffic violations following a traffic stop in Topeka in March. He was charged with possession of a firearm while under the influence, driving under the influence, failure to signal a lane change and failure to pass safely from a single lane.

Maughan resigned from his role as vice chairman of House Judiciary after being arrested, WIBW reported.

His attorney in the Topeka case did not immediately respond to an email Sunday.

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