Beemer announces settlement in Porngate probe, prepares to turn over reins to Shapiro

    Departing Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer talks about a tumultuous stint in office. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

    Departing Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer talks about a tumultuous stint in office. (Katie Meyer/WITF)

    As acting Pennsylvania Attorney General Bruce Beemer prepares to bow out of the office, he has tied up one of the last loose ends from Kathleen Kane’s administration.

    The office has come to a settlement with BuckleySandler, a firm contracted by Kane to investigate lewd emails sent on government servers.

    The agreement represents a heavy compromise for the office.

    Beemer had been seeking to pay a lower fee for a report he called too broad and not worth the $2 million initially promised to special prosecutor Doug Gansler, who led the investigation.

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    But Gansler’s getting almost that much; the settlement gives him $1.4 million on top of $380,000 already paid.

    In a roundtable discussion with reporters, Beemer wouldn’t give many details on the settlement. Instead, he focused on his five months in office after taking over for the disgraced Kane following her resignation.

    He called his short term “the professional honor of my life,” and said he’s done his best to move the office past the troubled Kane administration.

    “It was challenging,” he said. “But I very much appreciated the faith that the governor and the Pennsylvania Senate showed in me. Hopefully, I helped the situation that they saw as dire enough to make a change.”

    He noted that while some of the office’s relationships with partners throughout the state were strained under Kane, those interactions have “really started to improve.”

    “The attorney general’s office is kind of getting back to a lot of the things that it’s charged to do,” he said.

    Beemer said he’d recommend the incoming Attorney General Josh Shapiro devote a dedicated team to investigating political corruption, among other things.

    Shapiro, a Democrat, will be sworn in Jan. 20. Beemer will return to his previous post as state inspector general.

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