I will admit right here, right now, I voted for Kathleen Kane for Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. I have regretted that decision almost from the day she was sworn into office. I thought it was time Pennsylvania had a female Attorney General. I thought we needed someone who did not represent the interests of Philadelphia or Allegheny County.
I did not think we would get an Attorney General who substituted her own opinion for that of the Legislature or use her office to thwart a Governor. I certainly did not think we would get an AG who may be a criminal.
Kane was lauded when she refused to defend Pennsylvania’s ban on recognizing gay marriage. She was cheered for rejecting former Gov. Tom Corbett’s contract with a private firm to run the Pennsylvania lottery.
The allegations lodged against her last week make her earlier actions pale in comparison.
Kane was charged Thursday with leaking secret grand jury information to punish her critics, then lying about it under oath.
According to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Kane leaked the material to a political operative to pass on to the media “in hopes of embarrassing and harming former state prosecutors she believed, without evidence, made her look bad,”
Kane said she is a victim of payback for taking on a corrupt, old-boy law enforcement network and exposing the exchange of pornographic emails among state employees. She vowed to stay in office and fight the charges.
Kane has had a troubled tenure. There has been an exodus of top aides, accusations of fumbled corruption cases and feuds with former prosecutors. All very public and all detrimental to the Attorney General.
Sadly, there is precedent. Kane is the second Pennsylvania attorney general charged in the last 20 years. Ernest Preate resigned as Pennsylvania’s attorney general in 1995 and served a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud related to a campaign contribution.
There is even worse news for Kane: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has called on Kane to resign, echoing newspaper editorial pages across the state in recent months.
Kane cannot do her job for the people of Pennsylvania if she is spending time in court defending herself.
If Kane has any integrity she should resign.