Ex-PA Attorney General Gets Prison Term for News Leak

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Kathleen Kane. Press photo via Flickr

Kathleen Kane. Press photo via Flickr

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced yesterday to 10 to 23 months in prison for orchestrating an illegal news leak to damage a political enemy. The Philadelphia Inquirer says the penalty capped “a spectacular downfall for a woman once seen as one of the state’s fastest-rising stars.” Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy said, “The case is about ego, ego of a politician consumed by her image from Day One. “And instead of focusing solely on the business of fighting crime, the focus was battling these perceived enemies … and utilizing and exploiting her position to do it.”

A tearful Kane pleaded for leniency, urging the judge to consider the impact on her sons. “I would cut off my right arm if they were separated from me and I from them,” she said. “Please sentence me and not them.” Unable to post $75,000 bail immediately, Kane was led in handcuffs from the courtroom to jail. She was released hours later, and will remain free on bail until she exhausts her appeals, a process that could take months. The sentencing marked a bitter end to a career that drew national attention after Kane, a Scranton-area prosecutor, in 2012 became the first Democrat and woman to be elected attorney general of Pennsylvania. The judge heard Kane’s supporters, including one of her sons, extol her accomplishments and describe how devastating her conviction has been. Montgomery County prosecutors called to the stand Kane’s current and former colleagues, who testified how she let a personal feud and paranoia poison the state’s top law enforcement office and plunge it into disarray.


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