Kathleen Kane

Attorney General Kathleen Kane Arraigned On Criminal Charges

Aug 8, 2015
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Pennsylvania's top prosecutor barely spoke at her arraignment Saturday on charges including a felony count of perjury, but her attorney stressed afterward that she has no plans to resign, despite growing pressure even among her fellow Democrats.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane did not enter a plea during the brief proceedings via closed-circuit television in suburban Philadelphia and only responded to the judge with yes or no.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has announced criminal charges against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Ferman has been investigating a grand jury's conclusion that Kane leaked secret investigative information to a Philadelphia newspaper to embarrass a political foe. John Micek, opinions editor for the Patriot News and Penn Live joins us to discuss the latest developments.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane was charged Thursday for leaking secret grand jury information to seek revenge on her rivals and then lying about it to a separate investigating grand jury.

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) re-introduced a House resolution to impeach PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane “due to the pattern of misbehavior that we have seen in office for the last two years,” he said.

Metcalfe first introduced the measure in 2013 after she chose not to defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s now-nullified Defense of Marriage Act. He withdrew it after not getting support from the House State Government Committee before the 2013-14 legislative session ended. So Metcalfe is trying again.

Mary Wilson / WITF

A Republican state senator has officially announced his bid to take the state’s Office of Attorney General from the embattled Kathleen Kane, the first Democrat to win the seat.

Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) made his announcement flanked by fellow GOP state senators, police and fire fighters union leaders, and other representatives of law enforcement.

In an online poll attempting to determine public opinion on state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's ability to lead, more than half of respondents said they didn't "know enough about it." 

Conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute from May 8 to 16, the poll offered no context about the ongoing scandal. Of the 527 participants, 49.5 percent admitted they weren't sure. Those who did weigh in responded 2-1 that Kane should resign.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane engaged in a cover-up and lied about her role in an alleged unlawful leak of information from a 2009 investigation, according to a report by the grand jury that recommended she face criminal charges.

"The testimony of Attorney General Kane was not an honest account of the events, and she mischaracterized events to cover up activities undertaken at her direction to unlawfully release documents subject to grand jury secrecy," said the report released Monday, three months after its recommendations were made public.

Essential Pittsburgh: The Pirates Hit the Field

Apr 6, 2015
Dan Gaken/Flickr

The decision to uphold the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate PA State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is the latest setback in her once rising political career.  We’ll get an update on the current troubles of the beleaguered attorney general with WESA’s capitol reporter Mary Wilson.

Mary Wilson talks about the next steps for Kane and how she plans to proceed :

“Well there is no date that I would circle [on a calendar]… Kane says she is not going to resign. Her attorney and spokesman Lanny Davis says that, ‘She’s not stepping down and she’s not going to give into the fight.’ The line from her office is that she’s under siege by people who feel insulted about her rise to power ...”

Also in this hour, Al Yellon talks about the history and future of AstroTurf in baseball, we talk to George Coury, a 46-year Pirates season ticket holder, and Post-Gazette Sportswriter Bob Dvorchak shares his predictions for the performance of the Pirates this season.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A county prosecutor says she'll review evidence and other material from an investigation that prompted a grand jury to recommend that Pennsylvania's attorney general be charged with perjury and other offenses.

The state attorney general is asking state lawmakers for a budget boost.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is asking for $97 million dollars — above and beyond the $95.5 million proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf in his spending plan.

The Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) asked whether he should take it that Kane approves of higher sales and income taxes that figure so prominently in Wolf's budget proposal.

"Are you willing to say you support his revenue package?" said Browne.

Kane didn't bite.

Mary Wilson / WITF

Attorney General Kathleen Kane was all about the budget when she arrived in front of the state House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, and lawmakers fired no questions her way about legal "bumps in the road" involving her office over the past year.

The country’s second-largest insurer says customers whose information may have been compromised in a recent massive data breach will be offered credit monitoring and other services beginning this Friday.

Anthem says it plans to send individual letters “in the coming weeks” to customers whose information may have been accessed in a cybersecurity attack discovered late last month.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Court documents released Wednesday show a grand jury has concluded there are reasonable grounds to charge the state's top prosecutor with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret investigative materials.

The records made public by the state Supreme Court say the grand jury's Dec. 18 presentment regarding Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been sent by the supervising judge to the district attorney in Montgomery County to decide whether to file charges.

A Year of Turmoil for Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Jan 12, 2015
The Office of the Attorney General

The political future of PA State Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks to be falling as fast as it rose. Evidence of wrongdoing has been found by the special prosecutor and grand jury who are recommending she be criminally charged. 

We’ll get an update on the current troubles of the beleaguered attorney general with John Baer, political columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Angela Couloumbis.

Couloumbis gets us up to speed on what exactly the attorney general is being accused of doing:

She is accused of having [her office] give two documents to the Philadelphia Daily News about a 2009 investigation into a Philadelphia civil rights leader. That investigation was before a grand jury back in 2009 and never resulted in any criminal charges against the civil rights leader Jerry Mondesire.

One of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s fiercest critics in the state House is renewing his resolution for her impeachment.

“Despite the passage of time and the evolution of this issue, the core concerns regarding her performance in office remain the same,” writes Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) in a co-sponsorship memo. “The Attorney General has failed to perform the duties of her office on a number of occasions and she has engaged in misbehavior in office.”

The second proposal for Kane’s impeachment comes in the wake of scathing criticism from within her own party.

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday four of her employees have been fired and 11 suspended without pay for involvement in a pornographic email scandal that also prompted a state Supreme Court justice to step down.

Kane said two other union employees face possible termination after "the exhaustion of their contractually mandated rights." Two others quit before being disciplined, and several others described as having limited involvement received written reprimands or counseling.

State Supreme Court Suspends McCaffery

Oct 23, 2014
PA National Guard / Flickr

The state Supreme Court has suspended one of its own, Justice Seamus McCaffery, with pay. The suspension is a response to McCaffery's admitted exchange of sexually explicit emails with people in the state attorney general's office, among other things. 90.5 WESA's capitol correspondent Mary Wilson provides an update from Harrisburg.

A Pennsylvania county prosecutor is resigning in the wake of a pornographic email scandal that the state attorney general's office says involved him while he was a high-ranking supervisor there.

Rick Sheetz, who led the criminal division until Attorney General Kathleen Kane took office early last year, resigned Monday from a part-time job as assistant district attorney in Lancaster County.

District Attorney Craig Stedman says the email scandal prompted Sheetz's departure, first reported Tuesday by Lancaster Newspapers.

For the past week, Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane has released information in a piecemeal fashion about bawdy e-mails exchanged by current and former state employees years ago. Some say the office has done little to quell criticism that the bit-by-bit disclosures show political motive.

Chief Justice Ronald Castille called it a “show and tell” last week — the way the attorney general revealed raunchy images sent or received by eight men who worked under Gov. Tom Corbett when he helmed the AG’s office. All the men named by Kane’s office are Republicans.

Chris Abruzzo has turned in his resignation as head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, one week after the attorney general’s office named him among state employees who swapped sexually explicit e-mails on state computers years ago while working for then-attorney general Tom Corbett.

In a letter to the governor, Abruzzo says assertions made by the attorney general’s office have become a “distraction” from the governor’s administration.

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

The process of arresting a child predator could take up to eight months with investigators taking computers from the suspect's home or business and transporting them to a crime lab for further study.

But the Attorney General’s office is trying to streamline that by rolling out two new trucks that act as computer forensic laboratories on wheels. 

Four individuals face charges in Pennsylvania for allegedly preying on elderly victims concern for loved ones by defrauding them out of thousands of dollars.  PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane has referred to the case  to as the “Grandparent Scam.”

Kane announced the charges Thursday, following a nine month investigation that discovered 11 victims with an average age of 79 who live as far away as Texas, Washington, and California.

Yet another governmental body appears to be investigating four Philadelphia Democrats for allegedly accepting cash or gifts from an undercover informant.

A letter from the State Ethics Commission indicates an investigation into the four state lawmakers implicated in a corruption sting.

A blueprint for what Pennsylvania officials hope will be a smooth transition for Highmark Insurance customers currently using UPMC doctors has been agreed to by both non profit organizations but the details have yet to be reached. 

“This as really been a bipartisan approach,” said Highmark CEO David Holmberg who just two weeks ago did not think such a deal was possible.  “This has been about everybody putting their swords down and doing the right things.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a report Monday regarding Tom Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation when he was Attorney General. Patriot News opinions editor John Micek talked about how the findings of Kane's office could impact Governor Corbett's chances of re-election.

The Attorney General’s report found no evidence of Corbett mishandling the investigation due to political influence. Micek said even though the report was issued well before voting begins, for Corbett's re-election campaign, the report may hurt his chances in the polls.

A long-awaited review of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case has exonerated Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of suggestions the investigation was slowed by political calculations. But state Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she still sees flaws in the prosecution and is openly inviting speculation on how it was handled.

A report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.

The report, commissioned by Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, by a former federal prosecutor blamed a three-year time lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about the former Penn State coach and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.

A state House committee hearing to consider the impeachment of Attorney General Kathleen Kane was punctuated with a rare walkout by Democratic lawmakers.

Democrats made two attempts to put the kibosh on the meeting held by the House State Government Committee. The second adjournment effort came from Democratic Representative Mike O’Brien of Philadelphia. A terse exchange with Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) followed. Metcalfe asked security to show O’Brien the door.

“Please remove Rep. O’Brien from this hearing,” said Metcalfe.

A non-partisan government reform group says investigations into a sting operation dropped by the attorney general’s office shouldn’t stop with the state House Ethics Committee.

Leaders from both parties in the House have assured the chamber’s Ethics panel it would be given the budget to do an investigation of members implicated in a sting that gave $20,000 to eight people. Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she dropped the case because it couldn’t be successfully prosecuted, despite recordings of public officials accepting money or gifts.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane says despite the fact that her office has audio tapes documenting four state lawmakers and one judge committing crimes, she is defending her decision to drop a case investigating them.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported the abandonment of the case, which allegedly relied on one confidential informant to catch public officials in the act of accepting cash or gifts.