[NOTE: Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Margaret Kane faces sentencing Monday, Oct. 24 after a jury convicted her of charges of perjury and abuse of power, finding she orchestrated the illegal disclosure of secret grand jury information to the media and engaged in acts designed to cover up her conduct. She faces a possible maximum sentence of 12 to 24 years in prison. Prosecutors are seeking jail time; defense is seeking probation or house arrest.]
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele filed papers in county court this week with Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, arguing Kathleen Kane lacked remorse for her crimes. The following are excerpts taken directly from prosecutors’ sentencing memo:
Steele claimed the judge is free to consider Kane’s lack of remorse for her conduct so long as it is specifically considered in relation to the protection of the public, the gravity of the offense, and Kane’s rehabilitative needs, and is not based on her decision to remain silent at sentencing.
|Montco DA Kevin R. Steele/ Submitted Photo|
“From the moment she decided to leak the confidential materials to the press, Kane has exhibited her lack of remorse repeatedly in both her actions and her words,” Steele and co-prosecutor Thomas W. McGoldrick wrote.
In a presentence investigative interview Kane, according to prosecutors, stated, “People tend to play it safe. People elected me to do a job and I will do it. The thought of losing my kids over a job kills me.”
“It seems from this statement that Kane believes that her legal troubles stem from her simply doing the job that the people elected her to do. Nothing could be further from the truth,” prosecutors wrote. “Her legal troubles are the result of her conscious decision to break the law and to abuse her authority in order to strike back at perceived political enemies.”
In the presentence investigation evaluation, Kane, according to prosecutors, also stated her current circumstances were the result of a “30 second decision,” implying that an impulse choice triggered her legal problems.
“This statement is simply not true and it is an illustration of her lack of remorse. Kane’s subordinates looked for an old case of (her perceived political enemy’s) that she might be able to use against him, and, when they found one, she had her subordinates conduct an interview and gather together documents related to the case. These were calculated, deliberate steps and were not impulsive in any way,” Steele and McGoldrick argued.
|Montco Deputy District Attorney Thomas W. McGoldrick/Mercury Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.|
“Also, if Kane truly had second thoughts about leaking the documents, she had ample opportunity to stop the train that she set in motion,” prosecutors wrote, explaining her trusted subordinate had the documents in his possession from April 23, 2014, until he delivered them to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter on May 4.
The Daily News didn’t publish the reporter’s story until June 6, which was more than six weeks after Kane orchestrated the delivery of the information, Steele and McGoldrick alleged.
|Kathleen Kane/ Photo from Mercury Video by Carl Hessler Jr.|
“The truth is that Kane never second-guessed her decision to leak the documents,” prosecutors wrote.
“Moreover, her lack of remorse is seen in her actions and words during her effort to cover-up her crime and to actively thwart the investigation against her,” Steele wrote, claiming Kane made public statements that “there is no leak” and “I’m not concerned about anything” and attempted to have her subpoena to appear before a grand jury quashed by a higher court. “Her false statements to the public and her attempts to evade having to testify before the grand jury show her lack of remorse.”
Finally, Steele and McGoldrick, claimed that on Aug. 17, 2016, when Kane resigned from office after her conviction she spoke to reporters outside the attorney general’s offices in Scranton and “indicated that she had no regrets as her tenure came to an end.”
Kane, according to prosecutors, stated: “I try to live my life without regrets. I try to live every day like it’s my last. I try to do the best job I can every day. And I have no regrets. I hope that people see that we’ve done our best, and, you know, sometimes the price is high.”
“Again, it seems that Kane continues to argue that her legal troubles are the result of her simply doing her job as best she could and that she believes that she has done nothing wrong. This interview illustrates Kane’s clear lack of remorse for her criminal acts,” Steele and McGoldrick argued in court papers.
Kane, 50, did not testify at her trial. During 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.
Stay tuned. Kane learns her fate on Monday.