Kane engaged in coverup, was ‘untruthful,’ unsealed grand jury report says

     Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia. Court documents released Wednesday show a grand jury has concluded there are reasonable grounds to charge Kane with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret grand jury material. In an unrelated public appearance Wednesday in Philadelphia, Kane maintained her innocence. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

    Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia. Court documents released Wednesday show a grand jury has concluded there are reasonable grounds to charge Kane with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret grand jury material. In an unrelated public appearance Wednesday in Philadelphia, Kane maintained her innocence. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane engaged in a cover-up and lied about her role in an alleged unlawful leak of information from a 2009 investigation, according to a report by the grand jury that recommended she face criminal charges.

    “The testimony of Attorney General Kane was not an honest account of the events, and she mischaracterized events to cover up activities undertaken at her direction to unlawfully release documents subject to grand jury secrecy,” said the report released Monday, three months after its recommendations were made public.

    Comparing Kane’s statements to the grand jury to other testimony and evidence, the grand jurors “did not find her testimony truthful while intending to divert attention from her actual role as the principal of the leak,” the report said.

    Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter said he ordered the presentment unsealed because there was no longer a reason to keep it confidential, and a request had been made to make it public.

    Kane’s own lawyers had asked that the report be unsealed. But spokesman Chuck Ardo said she would have preferred that the full transcripts of grand jury testimony had been included.

    “The attorney general believes her testimony was truthful and responsive, and given this court’s track record, their conclusion doesn’t come as a surprise,” Ardo said.

    The grand jury recommended she be charged with perjury, obstruction, false swearing, official oppression and contempt of court. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has said her office is looking into the case.

    On Monday, Carpenter and two other judges asked that Ferman review whether Kane should be charged with retaliation and official oppression for firing a staff prosecutor who told the grand jury that a 2014 Philadelphia Daily News story contained investigative information that should have been kept secret. Kane contends the prosecutor’s firing wasn’t retaliatory, but rather part of a staff reorganization.

    Kane was the subject of the grand jury investigation that examined her role in connection with the Daily News story. The story focused on a 2009 investigation, also involving a grand jury, that dealt with the handling of state job-training grants by the then-president of the Philadelphia NAACP.

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