The emails make light of domestic violence and pedophiles. They play on racial stereotypes. They ridicule obese people and those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
They are the latest messages to surface in the emails scandal that has rocked Pennsylvania’s Office of Attorney General, but they hit unusually close to home for Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
The emails were pulled from the account of Ellen Granahan — Kane’s twin sister.
Granahan has been employed by the Office of Attorney General since before Kane was elected to run the agency in 2012. Like some of her OAG colleagues, Granahan traded messages that have a certain locker-room aesthetic.
One image compares sperm to “illegal immigrants.” Others deride people with eating disorders. Several photos teeter on the brink of racism. The emails document a preoccupation with breasts and male genitalia.
One email attachment shows a man sitting naked in a sink under a faucet. The photo serves as the punchline to the message’s subject line about a new “dishwasher.”
Granahan forwarded it, writing: “You can’t put a price on that model.”
The OAG released dozens of Granahan’s emails Wednesday evening in response to a revelation made earlier that day by the Philadelphia district attorney’s office — that Kane and her sister had exchanged questionable emails, just like the people Kane has been impugning for the past year and a half.
One of the messages was forwarded by Granahan to Kane in 2009, before Kane was attorney general. The office redacted the names of all other e-mail recipients and senders.
Kane’s office spokesman, Chuck Ardo, said the emails “may be in poor taste,” but that Kane and her sister believe the messages don’t “rise to the level of pornographic or inappropriate.”
On Wednesday, Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson accused Kane of having received 11 questionable emails.
Kane disputes Gilson’s claim.
“She doesn’t know where that number came from,” Ardo said.