Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kathleen Kane to resign Attorney General post tomorrow

Philly.com staffers report:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who was convicted Monday of perjury and other crimes, will resign Wednesday, ending a once-promising career in state politics.


In announcing her intention to step down, Kane, 50, the state's first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, said only: "I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and I wish them health and safety in all their days."

Her decision to resign capped a spectacular fall from grace for an attorney general once touted as a rising star in Democratic politics.

On Monday, after 4 1/2 hours of deliberation, a jury of six men and six women found Kane guilty of two counts of perjury and seven misdemeanor counts of abusing the powers of her office.

Prosecutors persuaded jurors that Kane orchestrated an illegal leak of secret grand jury documents to plant a newspaper story critical of a former state prosecutor whom she considered her nemesis, Frank Fina. Kane then lied about her actions under oath, the jury found.

Her sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. in Norristown.

Under the state Constitution, Kane would have been required to resign on the day of her sentencing. But the Republican-controlled legislature made it clear Monday night that if she did not step down before then, they would take steps to remove her from office.

In a statement, Gov. Wolf, who for months has urged Kane to leave office, said: "What has transpired with Attorney General Kane is unfortunate. Her decision to resign is the right one, and will allow the people of Pennsylvania to finally move on from this situation."

The governor also said he would work with the state Senate "regarding any potential appointment of an Attorney General."

Officials at the Attorney General's Office said that once Kane's resignation takes effect Wednesday, Bruce Castor, her second-in-command, will become Acting Attorney General. Castor is the former district attorney in Montgomery County and a former Montgomery County commissioner.

Kane hired him earlier this year as her office's solicitor general, giving him broad powers. She later promoted him to first deputy attorney general.

As her legal troubles mounted over the last year, Kane announced that she would not be seeking another four-year term once her current one ends in January.  

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