Kane free on bail after being sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail [updated]

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Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison for leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it under oath.

Kane, who resigned in August after she was convicted of perjury and related crimes, has also been ordered to serve eight years of probation. 

“A violation of this magnitude and severity…is an extraordinary abuse of the system,” said Common Pleas Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy. “Such an individual in a position of power who commits perjury and related offenses involving violation of the oath is especially devastating to the credibility of our court system.”

Kane, who was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, was released from the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville about two hours after she was placed in a holding cell. Warden Julio Algarin said Kane was processed and briefly held before she paid her $75,000 bail with a cashier’s check shortly before 6 p.m.

Prior to sentencing, Kane and her attorneys pleaded for leniency on behalf of her two teenage sons.

“I don’t care about me anymore,” Kane said before she was sentenced. “I’ve always been a mother first.”

Kane, who did not testify during her trial, spoke toward the end of a five-hour hearing in the same Montgomery County courtroom where a jury found her guilty of leaking confidential documents in a plot to smear a political enemy and lying under oath to cover it up.

While admitting they are “the sons of a convicted felon,” Kane implored Common Demchick-Alloy not to punish her sons by sending her to prison.

“Since this conviction, I feel like we’ve been in this downward spiral,” she said. “There’s no more torture in the world than watching your children suffer.”

Kane was emotional as she spoke – her voice broke and at one point, she reached out to her attorney for a tissue. Earlier Monday morning, she appeared calm, warmly greeting the many friends and family members who packed the courtroom.

Some of them, including her 15-year-old son and 20-year-old niece, took the stand and spoke tearfully about their close relationships with Kane.

“My mom’s like my rock,” said Christopher Granahan, who opted to testify because he thought “things weren’t looking good.”

“For her to leave me, … it’d be bad. It’d be tough for all of us,” he said.

‘Goodness, support eclipsed’ by Kane’s actions

A Catholic priest and former police chief from Hazleton, Pa. also testified to the work Kane did as the state’s top law enforcement officer – in particular, her role in organizing a police task force to help the crime- and drug-ridden city.

“All my life I have dealt with people that made mistakes and I believe that that does not negate the good of the person or their work,” said the Rev. Thomas Cappelloni.

As she handed down her sentence, Demchick-Alloy acknowledged the “good things” Kane had done, as well as the impact the judge’s decision would have on those close to her, especially her children.

“I feel sorry for them that they have to go through this, but that’s a decision you made, not this court,” Demchick-Alloy said. “When you put your hand on the Bible, you weren’t thinking of them you were thinking of yourself.

“So all the goodness … all the support is eclipsed by what the defendant did here.”

The judge admonished Kane for becoming consumed by her own ego and putting her image over her duty as a public servant.

Testimony at the sentencing hearing also shed light on a bureaucracy recovering from turmoil.

“She created a terror zone in this office,” said Erik Olsen, a senior deputy attorney general called to the stand by the prosecution.

Before her arrival in January 2013, Olsen “felt there was a misogynistic, mean-spiritedness to some of the people there” and was “thrilled” that Kane would bring about change as the first woman and Democrat elected to the state’s top law enforcement post.

But Olsen soon began to grow concerned at what he saw as Kane’s “growing isolation” – she came to Harrisburg less frequently and did not effectively communicate with her chiefs – and her “tit for tat” with Frank Fina, a former state prosecutor.

In August, a jury found Kane orchestrated a plot to exact revenge on Fina in which she leaked confidential documents and later, lied about it to the grand jury that investigated the leak.

As the revenge plot, leak and subsequent investigation unfolded, witnesses said the atmosphere in the attorney general’s office grew more chaotic.

Clark Madden, a former deputy attorney general in the criminal division, described the environment in the office as “one of abject demoralization, which settled like a poisoned cloud in every corner of the office.”

Since Kane’s resignation in August, that cloud has begun to lift, said Madden, who is now in private practice.

Olson said the office is now working to rebuild tarnished relationships with the state police, FBI and local district attorney’s offices.

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison for leaking secret grand jury material and lying about it under oath.  

 

Kane, who resigned in August after she was convicted of perjury and related crimes, has also been ordered to serve eight years of probation.

 

“A violation of this magnitude and severity…is an extraordinary abuse of the system,” said Common Pleas Judge Wendy Demchik-Alloy. “Such an individual in a position of power who commits perjury and related offenses involving violation of the oath is especially devastating to the credibility of our court system.”

 

Kane and her attorneys had pled for leniency on behalf of her two teenage sons, one of whom sat in the courtroom with more than two dozen other family members and friends.

 

“I don’t care about me anymore,” Kane said before she was sentenced. “I’ve always been a mother first.”

 

Kane, who did not testify during her trial, spoke at the end of a more than three-hour hearing in the same Montgomery County courtroom where a jury found she had leaked confidential documents in a plot to smear a political enemy and lied under oath to cover it up.

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