Kathleen Kane begins stint in jail
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Granahan Kane’s first day in jail included a full-body scan and search and medical screenings as she began serving her sentence for a 2016 perjury conviction.
Kane, 52, entered the Montgomery County Correctional Facility shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday to begin serving a 10-to-23-month sentence in connection with her August 2016 conviction of charges 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.
During intake procedures at the facility, all prisoners initially go through a fullbody scan and then a search, according to John Corcoran, Montgomery County Director of Communications. Booking procedures also consist of obtaining and securing an inmate’s personal property, recording their personal information and completing medical and mental health evaluations before they are issued jailhouse clothing, Corcoran explained.
“Initially, she’ll be held in a protective custody,” Corcoran said, adding after a few days jailhouse staff will interview Kane and review her classification. “If she requests special protection, they will grant it to her as a former law enforcement official.”
If an inmate is granted special protection, they are held in an area with as few fellow inmates as possible and guards closely monitor their movements to make sure there is no threat, Corcoran explained.
According to Corcoran, the typical daily schedule for an inmate includes lunch before noon, dinner at 4:30 p.m. and lights out at 10 p.m.
Visitors are permitted twice a week, two hours at a time. The visitations are “no-contact visits,” a policy enacted because of the ongoing opioid crisis, Corcoran said.
At the jail, television viewing is available only in the day rooms and the TV’s have only broadcast channels.
District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said Kane’s incarceration sends a message that “no one is above the law” and “closes this unfortunate chapter for the people of Pennsylvania.”
“As the jail door shuts her in, a strong message is being sent that no one is above the law. No one. Not even the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth,” Steele said in a prepared statement, just hours after Kane surrendered to authorities.
Steele said Kane, a former Lackawanna County prosecutor who was elected attorney general in 2012, not only abused her power to serve a personal vendetta, she committed criminal acts by disclosing secret grand jury and investigative information and then gave false testimony under oath to try and cover up what she had done.
“The harm caused by the defendant’s actions affected a victim and his loved ones, a proud office of men and women in law enforcement, and the citizens of our state. We believe that today, justice has finally been served on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania,” Steele said.
On Tuesday, Steele asked a judge to revoke Kane’s bail and to order her to jail after she exhausted her state appeals. After her conviction in 2016, Kane was permitted to remain free on bail pending the outcome of her state appeals.
In May, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld Kane’s conviction and sentence. On Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided not to hear Kane’s most recent appeal, setting the stage for her to begin serving her sentence.
Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, on Tuesday, ordered Kane to surrender to jail officials no later than 9 a.m. Thursday. On Wednesday, Kane filed a last-minute request to delay her report date, claiming she needed time to make arrangements for her two children before she began serving her stint behind bars.
However, Demchick-Alloy denied Kane’s request and Kane entered the jail in Lower Providence shortly before 8 a.m. on Thursday.
On Aug. 15, 2016, 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 Kane 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 argued Kane did so to exact “revenge” on a former state prosecutor with whom she was feuding.
At trial, 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 a sting operation which was led by a former state prosecutor, Frank Fina.
During the 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 to the 35th statewide grand jury in November 2014 to cover up her leaks by lying under oath 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.
In her appeals, Kane cited nine allegations of trial error, including the denial of her pretrial motion to recuse all county judges from hearing her trial based on her contention that Judges William R. Carpenter, Carolyn T. Carluccio and Risa Vetri Ferman had close ties to the investigation surrounding her.
Kane’s unsuccessful appeals also challenged the denial of her pretrial request to dismiss the case due to “selective and vindictive prosecution.”
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.
Booking photo of former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Granahan Kane as she entered the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on Nov. 29, 2018, to serve her 10-23 month sentence for 2016 perjury conviction.