PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A grand jury is reportedly recommending criminal charges against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane for violating grand jury secrecy rules.
A Philadelphia newspaper broke the story late Thursday.
It’s a complicated fact situation, and there is a bit of politics involved. But the bottom line is that Kane could find herself in court, defending charges that could include perjury and contempt of court for allegedly leaking grand jury investigative material.
Here’s what we understand from the Philadelphia Inquirer report:
Before Kane was elected Attorney General in 2012, state prosecutors under then attorney general Tom Corbett were investigating the head of the Philadelphia NAACP. No charges were ever brought.
But after Kane took office, leaks from Kane’s office were allegedly the basis of an article attacking former deputy attorney general Frank Fina who ran that investigation.
Fina claimed that secret grand jury information was allegedly leaked by Kane to make him look bad.
Kane says that’s not true.
Fina and Kane have had ongoing disputes over cases.
But in this case, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, at the request of a Montgomery County judge, authorized a grand jury investigation into the matter and a special prosecutor was named.
All three of these officials are Republicans. Kane is a Democrat.
In a statement, Kane’s attorney Lanny Davis says, “This anonymous leak to the Philadelphia Inquirer about this alleged presentment could be, in and of itself, a possible violation of the state Grand Jury Secrecy Act. The Attorney General has done nothing wrong or illegal, and to my knowledge, there is no credible evidence that she has. She told the truth to the grand jury at all times.”
This matter now goes to the Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, a Republican, to decide whether to charge Kane with a crime.
Ferman says she is conducting her own independent investigation.
No word from Ferman on when or what she will decide to do.
Stay with KDKA for more information.
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