Kane refuses to suspend criminally charged confidant

     Patrick Reese, the driver for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, leaves the Montgomery County Court House after being arraigned, Tuesday in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The former Dunmore police chief pleaded not guilty to a contempt charge stemming from an investigation of his boss. Kane is accused of leaking secret grand jury information and lying about it under oath. (AP photo/Matt Rourke)

    Patrick Reese, the driver for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, leaves the Montgomery County Court House after being arraigned, Tuesday in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The former Dunmore police chief pleaded not guilty to a contempt charge stemming from an investigation of his boss. Kane is accused of leaking secret grand jury information and lying about it under oath. (AP photo/Matt Rourke)

    A close confidant to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane remains on the job, despite being criminally charged with accessing secret grand jury information on her behalf.

    Patrick Reese, a special agent who is part of Kane’s protection detail, was charged by Montgomery County prosecutors more than a week ago in connection with the criminal case against Kane.

    Reese pleaded not guilty to allegations that he rooted through Office of Attorney General employee emails in direct violation of a judge’s order to protect the secrecy of a grand jury that investigated Kane.

    Kane’s spokesman Chuck Ardo said Reese’s employment status is “under review.” Reese’s annual salary is $99,658.

    That’s a breach of office policy, which says employees must be suspended without pay if they are charged with a crime related to their work. The same rule states that employees who are convicted on work-related criminal charges “shall be terminated.”

    Prosecutors say two employees in Kane’s inner circle, Reese and special agent David Peifer, were given access to a database that let them search and read employee emails, prosecutors said.

    Peifer, who testified to the grand jury that investigated Kane, was not charged by prosecutors.

    In charging documents, prosecutors say emails Reese accessed would have shown him the subpoenas of witness called to testify before the grand jury investigating Kane, witnesses’ testimony dates, details of the judge’s protective order, and the identity of a grand juror.

    Both Reese and Peifer continue to have access to the email database, according to Ardo.

    Kane is charged with leaking secret investigative material, then lying about it under oath. She has said  she’s innocent and will fight the charges without resigning her office.

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