Kathleen Kane sentenced

Kathleen Kane resigns as Pennsylvania Attorney General

A day after her conviction on felony perjury charges, the state’s embattled chief law enforcement officer quits.

Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane waves to onlookers as she enters the Montgomery County courtroom in Norristown.

Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane waves to onlookers as she enters the Montgomery County courtroom in Norristown.

Bucks County Courier Times/ Pool photo
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Kathleen Kane has resigned.

A day after her conviction in Montgomery County Court on charges of lying to a grand jury about leaking information to the Philadelphia Daily News, Kane resigned her office.

She released the following statement, per the Philadelphia Business Journal:

“I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and I wish them health and safety in all their days.”

The resignation follows the decision of a jury in Norristown, which found Kane guilty on all nine charges of perjury and obstruction she faced. Her trial lasted six days; she called no witnesses in her own defense, and the jury reached its verdict in four and a half hours.

As it stands, Kane’s office will be led by her first deputy, a name familiar to Philadelphians: It’s former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor. Among other cases in his purview was the 2005 rape accusations that were leveled against comedian Bill Cosby; Castor declined to prosecute.

Here’s more details about what happens now.

Kane’s sentencing has been set for October 24th. She faces up to seven years in prison for the perjury charge alone. She has vowed to appeal.

Kane’s resignation comes after months of public officials calling for her to resign and an attempt by the State Senate to impeach her. In 2015, Governor Tom Wolf said Kane should resign and called for her to resign again after the verdict Monday night.

“What has transpired with Attorney General Kane is unfortunate,” Wolf said in a statement today. “Her decision to resign is the right one, and will allow the people of Pennsylvania to finally move on from this situation.

“I have full faith and confidence in the employees of the Office of the Attorney General and know that they will continue to perform its most important functions including protecting consumers and prosecuting criminals. Moving forward, I will work with both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate regarding any potential appointment of an Attorney General.”

Whether it’s Castor or a potential appointment who becomes acting Attorney General, the tenure won’t last for long. Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty are running for the position this November. Kane, who took office in 2013, was the first Democrat and the first woman to be elected Attorney General.

Last week, several former and current employees of AG’s office testified against Kane. Joshua Morrow, a former consultant, said Kane asked him to leak the secret grand jury information to the media in an attempt to smear her political foe Frank Fina. The prosecutors provided text messages between Morrow and Kane discussing the story and the leak and a recorded phone call between Morrow and another political staffer discussing how Kane wanted Morrow to leak information.

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Editor


Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.