Attorney General Kathleen Kane Says She's Not Backing Down, Questions Probe's Fairness

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane spoke defiantly Wednesday about an investigation into press leaks from her office, saying she intended to serve out her term despite a newspaper report that a grand jury has recommended criminal charges against her.

Kane told reporters outside a Farm Show event in Harrisburg that she has been disappointed by the process used to investigate her office and predicted that an independent review would find she has done nothing wrong.

"I'm very disappointed in the way that this whole process has worked, very disappointed," Kane said. "I'm a lawyer, I trust in the legal system, and my trust has been, I think, broken by it. But I'm confident that a real look, a fair look at the facts will show there's absolutely nothing that we did wrong."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week that a grand jury recommended charges against Kane for leaking secret material to the Philadelphia Daily News. No charges have been filed, and on Tuesday Kane's lawyer asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into how that recommendation became public, and into related leaks.

"They've constantly just been disparaging my reputation and no one's looking into those," Kane said. "I think that tells you something about this process and the way it's occurred."

The Inquirer reported Tuesday that the reporters who wrote about the grand jury recommendation had been subpoenaed to appear before the panel in Norristown, and that they intended to invoke a state law that protects journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources.

Kane said she expected to remain in office as the state's top prosecutor.

"I'm here to stay," she said. "In the words of Winston Churchill, if you're going through hell, keep going, and I was hired by Pennsylvania to do a job."

Kane said "certain orders" prevent her from discussing the facts in question regarding the Daily News leak.

"I can tell Pennsylvania that I've done absolutely nothing illegal, period," she said. "And I really hope that the justice system works the way it's supposed to. I'm very confident that it will."

A Democrat and former Scranton prosecutor, Kane is halfway through a four-year term. She is the first woman and the first Democrat elected as the state's attorney general.

Following up on a campaign promise, she ordered a review of the office's investigation and prosecution of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, an internal investigation that concluded there was no evidence politics affected the decision making.

Kane also made public emails with explicit and pornographic content sent to and from employees of the attorney general's office, resulting in the dismissal, resignation or disciplining of dozens of people, and the sudden retirement last year of a state Supreme Court justice.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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