Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was convicted Monday on nine charges, including criminal conspiracy and perjury. Other charges include false swearing, obstruction, conspiracy, and official oppression.
The charges were brought in connection with leaks made to the news media to discredit a political rival.
“‘This is war,’ the defendant’s words,” said the lead prosecutor, Kevin Steele, in reference to an email written by Ms. Kane. “Wars have casualties. Wars leave scars.”
In a nearly two-hour closing statement, wrought with text messages, newspaper front pages and grand jury testimony, Mr. Steele painted a picture of Ms. Kane trying to “go on the offensive” after a newspaper article that criticized her for shutting down an undercover investigation into possible corruption by Democratic state representatives. Prosecutors say she believed Mr. Fina was behind the story.
Ms. Kane, he said, sought to leak details from a 2009 grand jury investigation into the financial affairs of J. Whyatt Mondesire, a former leader of the N.A.A.C.P., because she wanted residents to know that Mr. Fina had chosen not to prosecute. She then lied about it when a grand jury investigated, Mr. Steele said.
After the article criticizing Ms. Kane was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer in March 2014, prosecutors said, she orchestrated the release of information from the grand jury investigation — which is secret by law — to The Philadelphia Daily News. In doing so, prosecutors said, she asked her political consultant, Mr. Morrow, to pick up an envelope from the home of her deputy and deliver it to a reporter.
In court, Mr. Steele played a recording of a conversation between Mr. Morrow and a person he called for advice.
“Kathleen is, like, unhinged,” Mr. Morrow said on the tape, adding, “Instead of having a strategy to do this, it’s like, let me just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.”
It's unclear what happens next, since she is still holding the office. NBC News:
Public officials convicted of official misconduct in Pennsylvania typically don't have to resign until they are sentenced. Kane could stay in office while she appeals, the governor's office said.
Perjury, the only felony charged, can bring up to seven years in prison. The misdemeanor charges Kane faced included conspiracy, official oppression and false swearing.
Kane has resigned her office after the convictions.