Kansas' attorney general has admitted having an extramarital affair with a former staffer who now accuses him of sexual harassment and attempting to influence a federal lawsuit involving a political opponent. Paul Morrison said Sunday that many of the woman's claims are "patently false," but he confirmed they had a relationship. Linda Carter filed a civil rights claim last month with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to her account, the affair began in September 2005 and lasted about two years. Morrison was Johnson County's district attorney for 18 years before switching political parties last year to challenge GOP conservative Phill Kline for the attorney general's job. Republicans then picked Kline to take over Morrison's old job. Carter, former director of administration for the district attorney's office, accuses Morrison of trying to pressure her to write letters on behalf of eight former employees who were dismissed by Kline. In August, a federal magistrate dismissed all but one count in a wrongful termination lawsuit they filed. Carter also claims Morrison sought sensitive information about Kline's activities as district attorney. She detailed her allegations in a signed statement obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal. "Unfortunately, it is true, however, that I once had a consensual relationship with Mrs. Carter. And I profoundly regret that I did," Morrison's office said in a statement Sunday. "Many of the details Mrs. Carter dished to the newspaper regarding the nature of our relationship are absolutely false." The Associated Press left messages Sunday at a telephone number listed for Carter. Morrison, through a spokeswoman, declined comment, and asked in his statement for privacy as "I work through these painful issues." Kline spokesman Brian Burgess also declined comment, except to say that the situation was still developing and the district attorney's office was assessing it. Carter's allegations and Morrison's acknowledgment of the affair stunned legislative leaders and cast a cloud over the Democrat's political future. "I think most people are probably still in shock. These are some astonishing allegations," Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt said. "Clearly, this will consume a great deal of time in the coming weeks and months, and it's likely to impede the attorney general's ability to advance an agenda in the Legislature."