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Another corrupt democrat gone

Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,372 ******
edited August 2016 in General Discussion
Hadn't seen any posts on this. Congrats Penn. for getting rid of a crook.[:)]

Even by Pennsylvania's unbuttoned standards, it was a scandal of exhausting length and tawdriness, a seemingly endless parade of pornography, personal and political vendettas, smear tactics, barely veiled threats, conspiracy and cover-up. So when the state's attorney general, Kathleen G. Kane, announced on Tuesday that she was resigning, one day after her conviction for perjury and conspiracy, among other charges, even her supporters might have been excused for welcoming a sense of closure.

Except that the scandal is not closed, not yet. More than two years after it began, the Kane affair may have a few more shoes to drop from its Zappos-size closet of improprieties.

Ms. Kane, who had weathered indictment, the loss of her law license, threats of State House impeachment and Senate removal and a plea to resign from her fellow Democrat, Gov. Tom Wolf, said she would leave office on Wednesday, less than three months before voters will choose her successor.

The announcement followed a jury's decision to convict her on nine criminal charges, saying she had leaked secret grand jury information to a newspaper to discredit a rival prosecutor, Frank Fina, and then lied about it under oath.

The first deputy attorney general, Bruce Castor, who has in effect run Ms. Kane's office the last few months, said Tuesday that investigators were still working on the most lurid aspect of the scandal: a trove of lewd pictures and sexist and racist comments that Ms. Kane discovered when she exhumed emails of her Republican predecessor's staff.

He said that a law firm that Ms. Kane had hired to sift through the emails was flummoxed by the sheer number of them - 13 million, later winnowed to seven million by tossing out the correspondence of lower-level officials. The emails, which did not come up at Ms. Kane's trial but some of which have trickled out of her office, have led to the resignation of two State Supreme Court justices and a bevy of other officials, with the prospect of more embarrassment to come.

Douglas P. Gansler, the lawyer hired to lead the investigation, said Tuesday that he expected to release a report on the inquiry "in the next few weeks."

The chairman of the state Democratic Party, Marcel Groen, said Tuesday that he believed the most salacious correspondence had already become public - and then, in an indication of just how dire the scandal has been, suggested that the emails were the lesser of the problems.

"There's a difference between inappropriate behavior by elected officials and illegal behavior," he said. "I think the emails are inappropriate, and they're wrong, but I don't think they're illegal, per se."

They nevertheless played a starring role in the affair. And they may turn out to be Ms. Kane's last word in a scandal that began with her desire to ruin a competitor, and wound up destroying her own career.

Ms. Kane, 50, was hailed at the state's most promising politician when she became the first Democrat to be elected attorney general in 2012. But she antagonized her Republican predecessor by opening an investigation into his office's handling of the sexual-abuse scandal at Penn State.

After an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that she had improperly shut down a sting operation that had documented payments accepted by several African-American Democrats, Ms. Kane concluded that Mr. Fina, who was deeply involved in the Penn State case, had smeared her. She struck back, giving The Philadelphia Daily News grand jury documents that left the impression Mr. Fina had mishandled a 2009 inquiry into grants given another politician.

Mr. Fina demanded a criminal investigation of the grand jury leak, and that led to Ms. Kane's indictment, followed by an extraordinary scorched-earth defense in which she claimed to have been framed by an "old boys' group" that was involved in the email imbroglio - and wanted to stop more emails from surfacing.

The scandal plumbed the depths of skulduggery in a state whose record of corruption is not proud. In one instance, an aide to Ms. Kane was convicted of intercepting email traffic from the grand jury investigating her. In another, Mr. Fina was found to have secured a court order barring Ms. Kane from releasing any "personal" emails. At another low point, the state's chief justice was accused of trying to rig an inquiry into another justice's receipt of lewd emails.

Over it all hung Ms. Kane's implicit threat that more damning emails were in the wings.

Whether citizens will regain respect for law enforcement and Pennsylvania politics at this point is a tough call. The Senate majority leader, Jake Corman, said he was looking for the bright side.

"I often joke, `Thank God for Illinois,'" he said, referring to a state with its own corruption superlatives.
Some will die in hot pursuit
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain


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