Sunday, October 23, 2016

PROSECUTORS: Kathleen Kane's Decision to Resign, "not a mitigating factor"

[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 prison time; defense is seeking probation or house arrest.]

As Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele prepares for Kathleen Kane’s sentencing hearing, he has, in court papers, notified Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy of his opinion that Kane’s decision to resign as attorney general two days after her conviction is not a mitigating factor to consider for a lesser sentence.

Montco DA Kevin R. Steele

“Kane may well argue to the court at sentencing that her decision to resign as attorney general on August 17, 2016, two days after her conviction, is evidence of her remorse and should be considered as a mitigating factor for sentencing,” Steele and Deputy District Attorney Thomas W. McGoldrick wrote in court papers. “Such an argument would ring hollow.”

Steele maintained the Constitution of Pennsylvania provides that civil officers “shall be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.” Citing state law, Steele said a crime is infamous “if its underlying facts establish a felony, a crimen falsi offense, or a like offense involving the charge of falsehood that affects the public administration of justice.”

“The removal of a civil officer after conviction of an infamous crime is to occur at the time of sentencing for the infamous crime, and the removal is imposed by the trial judge as part of the sentence,” Steele and McGoldrick contend.

 Accordingly, Steele argued, following her conviction on Aug. 15 “of several infamous crimes,” Kane would have been automatically removed from office by a judge at her Oct. 24 sentencing hearing, pursuant to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

“Thus, her resignation on August 17 was not a sign of remorse or her part. Rather, it merely sped up what was a foregone conclusion by about nine weeks,” Steele and McGoldrick argued. “As such, Kane’s decision to resign should not be given any consideration as a mitigating factor at sentencing.”

Kathleen Kane/ Photo from Mercury Video by Carl Hessler Jr.

Stay tuned. Kane learns her fate from Demchick-Alloy at 10 a.m. Monday. Follow @MontcoCourtNews for the latest developments.

No comments:

Post a Comment