Criminal Justice

Former Pennsylvania attorney general goes to jail after state high court turns down appeal

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Photo of Kathleen Kane from the Montgomery County District Attorney.

Updated: Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane reported to jail Thursday to begin serving a sentence of up to 23 months for perjury and obstruction of the law.

Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy of Montgomery County revoked Kane’s bail on Tuesday, citing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Kane’s appeal on Monday, report, the Allentown Morning Call and the Legal Intelligencer.

Prosecutors had alleged that Kane leaked grand jury documents to take revenge on a political rival and then lied about it under oath. She was convicted in August 2016 and sentenced in October 2016.

Kane, a Democrat, had contended the charges against her were fallout from her office’s “Porngate” probe of sexually explicit, racist and sexist emails sent on state computers.

Kane had argued on appeal that a lower court had erred when it denied a motion to require all the judges in Montgomery County to recuse themselves in her case. She also had claimed that she should have been allowed to introduce evidence about pornography in emails of the political rival.

A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court had rejected those and other arguments by Kane in a May 25 opinion.

Kane arrived at a suburban Philadelphia county jail early Thursday morning, the Associated Press and Pottstown Mercury report. She will be kept in protective custody for at least the first few days, and special protection will be given to her as a former law enforcement official if she requests it, a Montgomery County spokesperson told reporters.

“I spoke to her this morning and I think she handled it with fortitude and dignity,” her defense attorney William J. Brennan told the Associated Press. “Ten months goes by quickly, and she will come out, I predict, and lead a very productive, hopefully long life. This is not the end of Kathleen Kane.”

In a prepared statement, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said that “justice has finally been served,” the Mercury reports.

“As the jail door shuts her in, a strong message is being sent that no one is above the law. No one. Not even the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth,” Steele said.

Updated on Nov. 29 after Kane reported to jail.

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