Kane ap­peals per­jury con­vic­tion

For­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral makes case to a state court

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

Disgraced for­mer Penn­syl­va­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Kathleen G. Kane has ap­pealed to a state court her con­vic­tion and the jail term she re­ceived last month from a Mont­gomery County judge on per­jury and abuse of power charges.

Kane, through her new lawyer, Joshua D. Lock, of Harrisburg, filed no­tice of the ap­peal to the Penn­syl­va­nia Su­pe­rior Court on Tues­day. A copy of the ap­peal also was filed in county court.

In the one-page no­tice of ap­peal Lock, who was hired by Kane ear­lier this month, did not re­veal any spe­cific claims he in­tends to ar­gue on be­half of the state’s for­mer top law en­forcer. He sim­ply at­tached a court docket history of Kane’s case to the no­tice.

But now that Kane has ap­pealed the 10-to-23month county jail term she re­ceived on Oct. 24, Judge Wendy Dem­chick-Al­loy will have to place her rea­sons for the sen­tence in writ­ing.

Mean­while, Kane, 50, a for­mer Lack­awanna County pros­e­cu­tor who was elected at­tor­ney gen­eral in 2012 and once was con­sid­ered a ris­ing star among Democrats, was per­mit­ted to re­main free on $75,000 cash bail pend­ing the out­come of her ap­peal. Kane spent only a few hours at the county jail af­ter her sen­tence was im­posed and be­fore she posted that bail.

Dur­ing last month’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Dem­chick­alloy char­ac­ter­ized Kane’s con­duct as “de­lib­er­ate, cal­cu­lated and venge­ful” and said per­jury is “the ul­ti­mate as­sault on the ju­di­cial sys­tem.”

With an ad­di­tional eight years of pro­ba­tion or­dered by the judge, Kane will be un­der court su­per­vi­sion for 10 years.

District At­tor­ney Kevin R. Steele ar­gued for time be­hind bars for Kane.

De­fense lawyer Marc Robert Stein­berg, who rep­re­sented Kane only at the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, sought le­niency for Kane in the form of house ar­rest or pro­ba­tion.

On Aug. 15, Kane, the first Demo­crat and the first woman ever elected at­tor­ney gen­eral, was con­victed of charges of per­jury, ob­struct­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion of law, of­fi­cial op­pres­sion, false swear­ing and con­spir­acy.

The jury de­ter­mined she or­ches­trated the il­le­gal dis­clo­sure of se­cret grand jury in­for­ma­tion to the me­dia and then en­gaged in acts de­signed to con­ceal and cover up her con­duct. Steele and co-pros­e­cu­tor Michelle Henry al­leged Kane did so to ex­act “re­venge” on a for­mer state pros­e­cu­tor with whom she was feud­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued Kane’s quest for re­venge took root on March 16, 2014, when she read a Philadel­phia Inquirer ar­ti­cle that was “crit­i­cal” of her for fail­ing to pur­sue crim­i­nal charges against some Philadel­phia politi­cians and for shut­ting down that sting op­er­a­tion which was led by a for­mer state pros­e­cu­tor, Frank Fina.

At trial, wit­nesses tes­ti­fied Kane be­lieved Fina was re­spon­si­ble for the neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity.

To re­tal­i­ate against Fina, Steele and Henry al­leged, Kane or­ches­trated the re­lease to a reporter of a memo, emails and the tran­script of an in­ter­view per­tain­ing to the 2009 In­ves­ti­gat­ing Grand Jury No. 29, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that cen­tered on a Philadel­phia civil rights of­fi­cial, which Fina su­per­vised and then didn’t pur­sue charges. Pros­e­cu­tors ar­gued the civil rights of­fi­cial, who was never charged with any crime, was harmed by the re­lease of the grand jury in­for­ma­tion.

Kane also was con­victed of ly­ing un­der oath to the 35th statewide grand jury in Novem­ber 2014 to cover up her leaks when she claimed she never agreed to main­tain her secrecy re­gard­ing the 2009 grand jury in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tors said they dis­cov­ered ev­i­dence that Kane signed a so-called “secrecy oath” on her sec­ond day in of­fice on Jan. 17, 2013, promis­ing her secrecy for statewide in­ves­ti­gat­ing grand ju­ries one through 32. The oath com­pelled Kane to main­tain the secrecy of all mat­ters oc­cur­ring be­fore past and present statewide grand ju­ries, pros­e­cu­tors al­leged.

Kane did not tes­tify at her trial.

How­ever, through­out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Kane claimed she did noth­ing wrong and im­plied the charges were part of an ef­fort to force her out of of­fice be­cause she dis­cov­ered porno­graphic emails be­ing ex­changed be­tween state em­ploy­ees on state email ad­dresses.

How­ever, a judge ruled Kane could not raise the porno­graphic email de­fense at trial.

Kane’s pre­vi­ous trial lawyers once hinted that could be the ba­sis for her ap­peal.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Pa. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Kathleen Kane at her pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing at the Mont­gomery County Court­house in Nor­ris­town Nov. 10, 2015.

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