Monday, October 24, 2016

Ex-Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane sentenced to jail

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane led from courtroom in handcuffs today
                   The brief, unlikely political career of Kathleen G. Kane, Pennsylvania’s brightest rising star when she was elected state attorney general less than four years ago, came to a humiliating close on Monday, when a judge sentenced her to 10 to 23 months in prison for her conviction on charges of perjury and abuse of her office.
New York Times reporters Jon Hurdle and Richard Perez-Pena write: 

Ms. Kane, 50, rose to power as a Democratic outsider with no political experience, vowing to shake to its foundations the state’s male-dominated, corruption-prone political establishment that she mocked as “the Harrisburg old boys.” At times she succeeded, forcing the ouster of State Supreme Court justices, prosecuting government officials, and clashing repeatedly with one of her predecessors, Tom Corbett, a Republican who had become governor.
But she soon created a scandal of her own, fueled by abuse of power and sensitivity to criticism, illegally leaking grand jury records in an attempt to discredit a critic, and then lying about it to a different grand jury. In August, a Court of Common Pleas jury here found her guilty of two felony perjury charges and seven misdemeanor counts, forcing her to resign from office.
Before the hearing, Ms. Kane, wearing a black pantsuit and a white blouse, greeted supporters with hugs and smiles as they entered the Montgomery County Courthouse here, and then, looking confident, chatted with her lawyers in the courtroom. But while testifying at the sentencing hearing, she broke down in tears, pleading with the judge to consider her two teenage sons.
“Maybe I deserve everything I get; they don’t,” she said. “I am not going to ask for your mercy because I don’t care about me any more.”
Called to testify on her behalf, her son Chris, 15, said: “My mom is like my rock. We just know that we can’t lose our mom.”
But prosecutors played video of Ms. Kane saying on the day after her conviction that she had “no regrets” about her life or career.
She faced a maximum sentence of 12 to 24 years in prison, but her lawyers had argued that the loss of her career and public reputation were punishment enough, and that she should not be locked up.
But in imposing a prison sentence, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy said, “any lesser sentence than total confinement will absolutely depreciate the seriousness of the crime. A violation of this magnitude and severity is an extraordinary abuse of the system,” the judge told Ms. Kane, who had no visible reaction.

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