Kathleen Kane is on trial for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information about former NAACP leader J. Whyatt Mondesire. It’s possible another Philadelphia reporter had similar information about him, before prosecutors say Kane leaked it, according to testimony by Michael Miletto, a former employee of the Attorney General’s Office.
While being questioned by Kane’s attorneys shortly after noon Wednesday, he said he had been contacted by reporter Isaiah Thompson in February 2014 regarding Mondesire. Thompson was writing for the now-defunct Axis Philly. Thompson had published an article about Mondesire about possible misuse of NAACP finances. It did not contain any information about Mondesire having been a target of a grand jury investigation.
Kane’s attorney asked Miletto whether he knew if Thompson had any actual grand jury transcripts. This the type of information that later appeared in the Daily News report. Miletto said he didn’t see that Thompson had any, but that Thompson had told him he did.
An email record between him and fellow AG’s office employee David Peifer showed that on March 19 Miletto expressed concern an article about Mondesire would come out from Thompson that would reflect poorly on the Attorney General’s Office.
The article that prosecutors say motivated Kane to seek revenge on former employee Frank Fina came out March 2014 in the Inquirer. That would’ve been at least a week after Miletto was contacted by Thompson about Mondesire. And according to discovery, prosecutors say the leaked information about Mondesire left Kane’s office in late April 2014. That would’ve been weeks after the email sent from Miletto to Peifer.
So, long before the alleged Kane-Fina feud had reached its boiling point, it’s possible another reporter had insider grand jury information.
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