Leavenworth

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The Federal Public Defender’s office is asking a judge to hold the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas in contempt after it stopped cooperating with an investigation of attorney-client tapings at a Leavenworth prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s decision was disclosed earlier this week in a report by the special master, Cleveland attorney David R. Cohen, who was appointed by the judge to look into the tapings.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas has stopped cooperating with an investigation into the taping of attorney-client meetings and phone calls at the pretrial detention facility in Leavenworth, according to the special master looking into the matter.

The decision by the office is likely to heighten suspicions by criminal defense lawyers that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is concealing information about the tapings from them.

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Saline County commissioners are supporting an effort to bring a Tyson chicken plant to Cloud County and Concordia.

The commission on Tuesday signed a letter in support of the $300 million project. The Salina Journal reports the letter says the plant would benefit the entire region because Tyson will invest $100 million to help farmers and ranchers raise poultry.

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Two former detainees at the Leavenworth Detention Center have filed a class action lawsuit over the taping of meetings and calls between inmates and their attorneys at the pretrial facility.

The lawsuit follows a similar one filed by two attorneys who alleged their phone calls and meetings with clients at the facility were taped.

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A federal judge on Wednesday ordered an investigation into whether federal prosecutors have been using recordings of attorney-client meetings at Leavenworth prison illicitly.

In a blistering 48-page order, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote that there are “grave concerns about government intrusion into attorney-client communications.”

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The Kansas Federal Public Defender says federal prosecutors have failed to turn over all attorney-client phone calls that were recorded at the pretrial detention center in Leavenworth to a special master looking into their legality.

In a court filing Wednesday, the public defender identified recorded calls to at least two attorneys that were not disclosed by prosecutors.

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Federal prosecutors are disputing a judge’s order directing the Justice Department to bear the costs of a special master who is examining whether recordings of attorney-client meetings at the pretrial detention center in Leavenworth were illegal.

The appointment of the special master has emerged as a major point of contention. Prosecutors say the judge exceeded her authority in ordering them to pay the special master’s fees of $500 an hour. They say the costs could easily exceed $1 million.