Pennsylvania top prosecutor now a convicted felon

Once the US state’s most promising politician, she undid her own career in a quest to discredit a rival prosecutor.

Kathleen G. Kane, Pennsylvania’s former attorney-general, has gone from the US state’s top prosecutor to a convicted felon.

On Monday, a jury found the 50-year-old woman guilty of all nine charges brought against her including perjury and criminal conspiracy, according to the BBC.

On Tuesday afternoon, she resigned from the position she was elected to in 2012 and which got her considered as the most promising politician of the state.

In a statement, Kane said that she has been “honoured to serve the people of Pennsylvania” and wished them well.

Due to be sentenced within 90 days, Kane, who plans to appeal, could face up to 28 years in prison though a shorter sentence is expected, the BBC said.

She was the first Democrat to be elected attorney-general of Pennsylvania on a campaign that included reviewing her Republican predecessor’s investigation into Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who was convicted of sexual abuse, according to The New York Times.

Though Kane did not uncover evidence of political interference, she did find sexist and racist comments and vulgar images in millions of emails of her predecessor’s staff. She later started to release these emails to news outlets.

An article in The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that Kane stopped an investigation into politicians, including Democrats, accepting bribes. She believed rival prosecutor Frank Fina was behind the story.

Kane retaliated, leaking sealed grand jury documents to The Philadelphia Daily News that suggested Fina bungled a 2009 inquiry into grants given to another politician, then lied about what she had done under oath.

She was charged with two counts of perjury, obstruction, official oppression, false swearing and criminal conspiracy, according to local publication The Times Herald.

Kane insists that an “old boys’ club” are behind the charges against her to get revenge over the email scandal, which has already cost two state Supreme Court justices and other top government officials their jobs, and to stop her from releasing even more of the emails.

Though free on recognisance bail, justice Wendy Demchick-Alloy had a stern warning for the disgraced attorney-general, who has had her license suspended, about getting payback. Some of her former employees testified against her and were granted immunity.

“There is to be absolutely no retaliation of any kind against any witness in this case, either by your own devices, from your own mouth or your hand, or directing anybody to do anything,” justice Demchick-Alloy told Kane after the jury handed down its verdict.

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