Pennsylvania ex-attorney general gets
jail time in leak case
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[October 25, 2016]
By David DeKok
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - Former
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced on Monday to
serve 10 to 23 months in county jail for leaking confidential grand jury
information and then lying about it to investigators.
Kane, 50, the first woman and first Democrat ever elected Pennsylvania
attorney general, was convicted in August on charges of perjury, false
swearing, obstruction of justice, official oppression and conspiracy.
She resigned two days after the jury in Montgomery County Court of
Common Pleas handed down its verdict.
In addition, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy sentenced Kane to eight years of
“A lesser sentence will depreciate the seriousness of the crimes of this
defendant,” she said.
Kane, who intends to appeal her conviction, had faced a maximum sentence
of 24 years in state prison.
Her lawyer, Marc Steinberg, was not available to comment after the
Kane was accused of giving information from a grand jury proceeding in
2013 to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter to retaliate against a former
state prosecutor, Frank Fina. She believed he had told the Philadelphia
Inquirer about her decision to drop prosecution of a case Fina had
developed against six black Democratic legislators in Philadelphia.
Grand juries play an important role in the U.S. criminal justice system
by deciding if a prosecutor has enough evidence to bring charges against
a suspect. Secret deliberations encourage witnesses to speak without
fear of retaliation and to protect the reputation of suspects when the
jury decides against recommending charges.
Witnesses for the prosecution said the Kane investigation had brought
havoc to the attorney general's office.
[to top of second column]
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane leaves in
handcuffs after her sentencing on felony perjury charges at the
Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Dan Gleiter/Pool
"Today is another sad day for the Commonwealth and its citizens,"
Bruce Beemer, who replaced Kane, said in a statement after the
"The Office of Attorney General is moving forward with steps to
restore the public's confidence in the work that we do and the way
that we do it," he said without specifying his office's plans.
Kane is the second Pennsylvania attorney general in the past
quarter-century to be convicted of crimes committed in office. In
1995, Attorney General Ernie Preate pleaded guilty to mail fraud and
served a prison sentence.
More than 25 friends and members of Kane's family attended the
hearing to show support. Several, including Kane’s son Christopher,
15, testified as character witnesses on her behalf.
Frank DeAndrea, a former police chief of Hazleton, told the judge
that sending Kane to prison could amount to a death sentence if drug
lords she helped convict retaliate.
Demchick-Alloy said Kane had assumed that risk when she decided to
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Lisa Shumaker)
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