Kathleen Kane

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Kathleen Kane
Kathleen Kane AG cropped.jpg
48th Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 15, 2013
Governor Tom Corbett
Tom Wolf
Preceded by Linda Kelly
Personal details
Born Kathleen Margaret Granahan
(1966-06-14) June 14, 1966 (age 55)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Chris Kane
Children 2
Alma mater University of Scranton
Temple University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Government website

Kathleen Granahan Kane (born Kathleen Margaret Granahan; June 14, 1966)[1] is the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.[2] She is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to the position (though both women and Democrats had held the office before it became elective in 1980).[3][4][5]

In August 2015, Kane was arrested and charged with multiple offenses, including two counts of felony perjury, and obstruction of justice.[6] In September 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Kane's license to practice law, the first such occurrence for a Pennsylvania attorney general.[7][8]

Early life and education

Born Kathleen Margaret Granahan, Kane grew up on the west side of Scranton, Pennsylvania where she attended West Scranton High School.[9] Kane received a Bachelor of Science degree in international studies from the University of Scranton in 1988 and law degree from Temple University Law School in 1993.[10]

Early career

Kane was an attorney at Post & Schell P.C., a Philadelphia law firm, prior to 1995[citation needed] and handled civil cases.[11][12] From 1995 to 2007, she served as an assistant district attorney for Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, where she prosecuted hundreds of sex-abuse, elder abuse, murder, assault, rape, public corruption, and fraud cases.[10][11][12][13] In 2007, Kane worked for a private law firm in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and took a position with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.[10][13]

Pennsylvania Attorney General

2012 election and term of service

Kane announced her candidacy for Pennsylvania Attorney General in the 2012 election. She received endorsements from U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Philadelphia Inquirer during the Democratic primary.[12][13] Her primary opponent, former U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy, was endorsed by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[13] Kane defeated Murphy 53% to 47%.[4] In the general election, Kane won by 14.5 percent over Cumberland County district attorney David Freed[14] who ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[10] The win made Kane the first woman elected State Attorney General in Pennsylvania,[Note 1] and the first Democrat elected to the position since it ceased being an appointed office in 1980.[3]

Since taking office, Kane has appointed former federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. to investigate Governor Tom Corbett's handling of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal (an investigation which showed that no wrongdoing by Corbett took place), and brought criminal charges against former turnpike officials (and then dealt plea bargains with the accused parties, which resulted in none of the accused serving any jail time). Kane made national headlines in July 2013, when she refused to defend Pennsylvania's "wholly unconstitutional" gay marriage prohibition in court.[15]

On March 17, 2014, Kane announced that she had shut down a corruption investigation begun under her predecessor, saying that "the undercover investigation was poorly managed and badly executed, and relied on an undercover operative whose credibility had been compromised." The investigation was following up on reports of corruption among current Philadelphia politicians, all of the suspects belonged to the Democratic Party. In response, the Committee of Seventy called on the state legislature to designate an independent counsel to investigate the closing of the case.[16][17] Local prosecutors in Philadelphia picked up the case, and secured a number of guilty pleas as well as grand jury indictments.

Leaks and suspension of license to practice law

Since 2014, a grand jury has been investigating the leaking of two memos which allegedly came from Kane's office: one from a 2009 grand jury investigation, and an internal memo leaked to the Philadelphia Daily News which outlined details of the 2009 investigation.[18] The leaks came at a time when Kane was under intense criticism for failure to effectively prosecute Democrats, both in a bribery sting investigation in Philadelphia, and a pay-to-play scandal involving the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

On January 21, 2015, it was made public that the grand jury recommended criminal charges related to these leaks against Kane for "perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction of law.".[18]

On August 6, Kane was charged by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman with one count of perjury, one count of false swearing, three counts of obstructing administration of law, and four counts of official oppression in connection with the grand jury leaks. Kane denied the charges and announced that she will not resign.[19] The same day the charges were announced, Governor Tom Wolf publicly called on Kane to resign.[20]

On August 24, Kane was ordered to stand trial on charges she leaked secret grand jury information to the press, lied under oath about it and ordered aides to illegally snoop through computer files to keep tabs on an investigation into the leaks. Prosecutors called two witnesses—a top Kane aide and the lead investigator in the case against her—whose testimony paralleled a 42-page probable cause affidavit filed against her. Kane is accused of leaking a confidential grand jury memo and transcript to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter to embarrass rival prosecutors involved in the case. She then lied about her actions to a grand jury investigating the leak, prosecutors said. Kane, 49, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, perjury.

On September 21, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously suspended Kane's license to practice law.[21] Although the Constitution of Pennsylvania requires the attorney general to be a licensed attorney, the court said in its order that it was not removing Kane from office.[22] The suspension came as a result of criminal charges related to the grand jury leaks.[23]

On October 1, prosecutors filed an additional perjury charge against Kane. This second charge relates to the alleged violation of a secrecy oath that Kane signed in January 2013, also relating to grand jury leaks.[24]

In continuing as attorney general with a suspended license, Kane has delegated legal responsibilities to her top advisers. On November 1, 2015, Kane announced a team of special prosecutors to lead the 'Porngate' investigation at the National Constitution Center.[25]

Child sex abuse investigation

As part of renewed attention in the state to Catholic Church child sexual abuse and cover-up accusations, Kane initiated a statewide Grand Jury -- starting toward establishment in early 2014 --[26] and a hotline which garnered another 250 cases to investigate. Some twenty troopers manned the phones and assistant AG Daniel J. Dye led the case in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and was still sifting the other reports in 2016. State Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone, minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee and former opponent of legislation to extend the statute of limitations for the crimes, had come to favor such legislation in 2016.[27]

2016 election

Kane was mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 U.S. Senate election against Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.[28][29] However, Kane declined to run, instead announcing that she would seek a second term as Attorney General in 2016.[30][31] Since getting divorced, she has decided not to run for re-election so that she can spend more time with her children.[32]

Personal life

Kane resided in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, with her husband Chris Kane, an executive and co-owner in his family's trucking and warehouse company.[13] The couple have two sons.[10] In October 2014, Kane suffered a concussion in a car crash. She is the cousin of American Combat Association president Matthew Granahan. She filed for divorce in Family Court in Lackawanna County, PA, on December 26, 2014.[33]

Electoral history

Pennsylvania Attorney General election, 2012, Democratic Primary
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Kathleen Kane 371,862 52.8
Democratic Patrick Murphy 331,778 47.2
Turnout 703,640
Pennsylvania Attorney General election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kathleen Kane 3,073,007 56.1
Republican David Freed 2,280,989 41.6
Libertarian Marakay Rogers 126,534 2.3
Total votes 5,480,530 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

[citation needed]


  1. Two women, Anne Alpern and Linda Kelly, were previously appointed to the position.


  1. Baer, John (January 15, 2013). "New A.G. Kane has a lot on her plate". Philadelphia Daily News. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Olson, Laura (January 15, 2013). "Three Democratic row officers sworn in". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Southwick, Ron (December 20, 2012). "2012 Newsmakers: Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania's first female elected attorney general". The Patriot-News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Murphy, Jan (April 24, 2012). "Kathleen Kane captures Democratic nomination in Pa. attorney general race". The Patriot-News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Kathleen Kane For Attorney General". Intelligencer Journal. October 22, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Michael Wines (December 18, 2015). "Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania Attorney General, Fights for Her Political Life". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Associated Press (September 21, 2015). "Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania Attorney General, Is Suspended From Practicing Law". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "PA Supreme Court Suspends AG's Law License".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Philadelphia Inquirer: "John Baer: New A.G. Kane has a lot on her plate" by John Baer January 15, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Micek, John L. (April 13, 2012). "Two Pennsylvania Democrats vying for attorney general". The Morning Call.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Murphy for the law: He's the better Democrat for attorney general". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 30, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Experience tilts scale for Kane". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Jackson, Peter (April 14, 2012). "Murphy-Kane race for AG a study in contrasts". RealClearPolitics.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Kathleen Kane's historic win, Arlen Specter's death lead Pennsylvania political news in 2012". The Express Times via Associated Press. December 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Eilperin, Juliet (July 11, 2013). "Who is Kathleen Kane?". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Couloumbis, Angela (March 17, 2014). "Kane: Targets committed crimes but sting flawed". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 18, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Thompson, Charles, "Kane defends decision against prosecuting political corruption case in Monday press conference", pennlive.com, March 17, 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Esack, Steve; Hall, Peter (January 21, 2015). "New Kathleen Kane grand jury documents outline recommended criminal charges". The Morning Call. Retrieved January 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Pennsylvania attorney general charged in grand jury leak". WTAE-TV. August 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Wenner, David (August 6, 2015). "Gov. Wolf: Attorney General Kane should 'step down' over criminal charges". The Patriot-News. Retrieved August 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Jan Murphy (September 21, 2015). "Supreme Court suspends Attorney General Kane's law license". Pennlive.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "The Constitution of Pennsylvania , Article IV Section 5". Legis.state.pa.us. Retrieved December 31, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>("No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General except a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania")
  23. "Pa. Supreme Court suspends AG Kathleen Kane's law license". WPVI-TV. September 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "New perjury charge filed against Attorney General Kathleen Kane". Penn Live. October 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "AG Kathleen Kane takes announcement of 'Porngate' team to National Constitution Center". PennLive. Retrieved December 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "A Report of the Thirty-Seventh Statewide Investigating Grand Jury", Office of Attorney General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania via nytimes.com, no date. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  27. Goodstein, Laurie, "As Pennsylvania Confronts Clergy Sex Abuse, Victims and Lawmakers Act", New York Times, April 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  28. Brittany Foster (December 13, 2013). "Senate 2016: Kane "Is Pretty Serious About This"". PoliticsPA. Retrieved December 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Jonathan Tamari (December 11, 2014). "As Pa. pols gather, Democrats talk of taking on Toomey". philly.com. Retrieved December 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Angela Couloumbis (December 12, 2014). "Kane vows to fight for her office". Philly.com. Retrieved December 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. John L. Micek (December 13, 2014). "Kathleen Kane, facing grand jury investigation, announces 2016 re-election bid". The Patriot-News. Retrieved December 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Bohman, Dave (February 16, 2016). "Kane Will Not Seek Second Term". WNEP-TV. Retrieved February 17, 2016. And the recently divorced mother of two sons says she has a more important job. 'While this was not an easy decision for me; while I love Pennsylvania, I love my sons first. I'm a mother first and foremost.'<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Pa. Attorney General Kathleen M. Kane files for divorce". Philadelphia Inquirer. December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Morganelli
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Linda Kelly
Attorney General of Pennsylvania