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Steve Kraske: Milton Wolf sniffs a (dead) rat in inquiry on Facebook posts

Milton Wolf lost to incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas in the primaries last year, possibly because of some of his Facebook posts from 2010 showing X-ray images of gunshot victims along with Wolf’s joking commentary. The State Board of Healing Arts has been investigation Wolf for a year, but it still hasn’t given him the results. Could it be politically motivated?
Milton Wolf lost to incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas in the primaries last year, possibly because of some of his Facebook posts from 2010 showing X-ray images of gunshot victims along with Wolf’s joking commentary. The State Board of Healing Arts has been investigation Wolf for a year, but it still hasn’t given him the results. Could it be politically motivated? The Associated Press

Milton Wolf has his nose in the air, and he doesn’t like what he’s smelling.

The 2014 U.S. Senate candidate from Kansas, who just might be a Senate candidate again come 2016, wants to put a controversy behind him that became a very big deal last year. He can’t do it.

The State Board of Healing Arts has had a year to investigate the Johnson County radiologist for his old Facebook posts that displayed gruesome X-ray images of gunshot victims along with Wolf’s joking commentary. But, apparently, the board’s work still isn’t finished because Wolf’s heard nothing. He wonders whether politics has slowed the board’s work.

In other words, is it possible that the Board of Healing Arts is stalling to protect an establishment lawmaker like incumbent Sen. Jerry Moran who Wolf might challenge next year? An open investigation hanging over Wolf would be something he’d have to respond to early and often.

“The board still won’t even give me a copy of the complaint or confirm who the complainants are,” Wolf said. “We believe that’s because this complaint was politically motivated and the complainants are not even patients at all, but are actually political operatives.”

For the record, the board denies political motives. The board only acts if an investigation turns up violations, board executive director Kathleen Lippert said. By law, she can’t say much else.

Let’s go to the tape:

In February 2014, The Topeka Capital-Journal wrote about Wolf’s curious 2010 Facebook posts. The embarrassment was compounded by Wolf’s “explanation” that the medical images were for educational purposes.

Wolf later apologized. But that story, and a second one in July disclosing the board’s investigation, undermined the tea party insurgent who wound up losing to incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts 48 to 41 percent in the GOP primary. Save for Facebook, Wolf might have won.

Since then, he’s made it clear that he’s eying Moran, who’s every bit the traditional Republican that Roberts is. Even if Wolf doesn’t run, the radiologist surely wants the matter put to bed for professional reasons.

He has one other cause for suspicion. Board member Anne Hodgdon of Lenexa, who continues to serve although her term expired, was unrelentingly critical of Wolf last year. She once retweeted a comment by Leroy Towns, Roberts’ one-time campaign manager, urging Wolf to “come clean on your patient x-ray posts.”

Hodgdon says she recused herself from Wolf’s case.

How much sympathy Wolf deserves is an open question. But clarity on his case? He’s owed that much.

To reach Steve Kraske, call 816-234-4312 or send email to skraske@kcstar.com.

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