[JURIST] Prosecutors on Thursday filed criminal charges [text, PDF] against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane [official website] for allegedly leaking grand jury documents to the media to embarrass a critic, and then giving false testimony to a grand jury in order to cover up her actions. The Montgomery Country District Attorney Risa V. Ferman charged the attorney general [press release, PDF] with counts that include perjury, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Last May a state judge appointed a Special Prosecutor to investigate allegations that statewide, confidential grand jury information may have been leaked to the media. After a 7 month investigation, the investigating grand jury recommended criminal charges against Kane. A criminal complaint [text, PDF] has also been filed against an aide of Ms. Kane. Kane has refused to resign claiming that a resignation would be an admission of guilt, and she is not guilty.
Kane, 49, was elected in 2012, becoming the first Democrat and the first woman to become attorney general since the post became elective in 1980. She drew attention by sharply criticizing [NYTimes report] Mr. Fina and her predecessor Tom Corbett, who left his position as attorney general to become the state’s governor.. She accused the office, under the leadership of Mr. Corbett, of dragging their feet in the Jerry Sandusky case and Ms. Kane dropped a case against several elected officials for bribery because she claims that it was mishandled by her predecessors.