My husband, Keen Umbehr, filed an ethics complaint against former Chief Deputy District Attorney Jacqie Spradling on July 27, 2016. In part, he alleged Ms. Spradling intentionally presented false information during the trial of Dana Chandler by stating that murder victim Michael Sisco had obtained a protection from abuse order against Chandler.


On April 6, 2018, the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously reversed Dana Chandler’s convictions for the murder of Michael Sisco and Karen Harkness due to prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Spradling. The Court stated: “All agree there is no protection from abuse order”, and “The State's questioning of the detective about a ‘protection from abuse’ order supports a conclusion this was preplanned.”


On Nov. 21, 2018, Disciplinary Administrator Stan Hazlett sent a letter to Keen informing him the Review Committee had determined probable cause existed to believe Spradling violated the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct and had directed his office to institute formal charges.


In a letter dated May 2, 2019, Keen was notified that the formal disciplinary hearing for Jacqie Spradling had been scheduled for Oct. 23, 2019. However, following two postponements, the formal hearing has been delayed until June 22, 2020.


In State of Kansas v. Eldon Sherman, the Kansas Supreme Court wrote: “A prosecutor who knowingly and intentionally disregards the dictates of justice in Kansas courts does so at his or her peril.”


This begs the question: Why has it taken the Disciplinary Administrator nearly four years to schedule a formal hearing for Spradling when the Kansas Supreme Court concluded over two years ago she committed prosecutorial misconduct during Dana Chandler’s 2012 trial?


Meanwhile, Jacqie Spradling continues to practice law as the Bourbon County attorney. Where is the peril in that?


Eileen Umbehr, Alma