She was a rising Democratic star. She was the first in her party to be elected state attorney general. She was one of the most powerful women in Pennsylvania. But on Monday night, Kathleen G. Kane, the state’s top prosecutor, became a convicted criminal.
A jury found Ms. Kane, 50, guilty of nine criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy, convicting her of leaking grand jury information, and then lying about it, in an effort to discredit a political rival.
Ms. Kane was caught up in a web of scandal and counterscandal, threaded with lewd emails, political rivalries and alleged leaks. It has cost other state officials, including two State Supreme Court justices, their jobs and Ms. Kane her law license, although she has remained on the job as attorney general.
Not any more: she’s amazingly done the decent thing today and resigned. How that must gall her party.
Ms. Kane stared straight ahead as the word “guilty,” uttered decisively by a juror in a flowered dress, echoed nine times around the courtroom. The lawyers immediately went into a private conference with the judge, leaving Ms. Kane, who campaigned on a promise to uncover political interference in Pennsylvania, alone at the defense table.
And when Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy returned to the courtroom, she turned directly to Ms. Kane with a stern warning, her words slicing through the silence.
“There is to be absolutely no retaliation of any kind against any witness in this case, either by your own devices, from your own mouth or your hand, or directing anybody to do anything,” the judge said. She threatened Ms. Kane, who is currently free on bail, with immediate incarceration if she failed to comply. “Is that clear, Ms. Kane?” the judge asked.
“Yes it is, your honor,” Ms. Kane said.
The fact that the judge would have to warn the state’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer that there was to be no retaliation is just stunning. Or maybe not. If there is a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat party and a crime family, I would like to know what it is. Maybe we should ask Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, what the hell is wrong with Pennsylvania, which is starting to rival New York, New Jersey and Illinois as criminal enterprises administered by felons and soon-to-be-felons? Check out this story:
A longtime northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of convictions.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.” Ciaverella, 61, was motionless when the decision was announced and had no reaction. From behind him, where family members of some of the children he sentenced sat, someone cried out “Woo hoo!”
In the wake of the scandal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Ciavarella was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year.
Read the AP story at the link and see if you can spot the missing word. Hint: it’s the name of the political party Ciavarella belongs to.