Kane supporters decry ‘mob mentality’

    More than a dozen people showed their support for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane at the state Capitol on Thursday, saying the state’s top law enforcement official is being “bullied by a bunch of men.”

    They accused the court system of corruption, decried what they consider to be a rush to judgment in the media, and faulted politicians with stirring up a “mob mentality” against Kane since she was criminally charged last month by Montgomery County prosecutors. They took aim at the ongoing effort by the Pennsylvania legal disciplinary panel to have Kane’s law license suspended.

    “They want to suspend her license and eliminate her as attorney general — a sleazy, desperate action on the part of sleazy, desperate politicians,” said Ceil Masella, a Delaware County resident.

    Wendy Silverwood, a Chester County resident who organized the event, read a statement she claims to have received from Kane by email. It thanks supporters for their cards and calls to the attorney general’s office and refers to Kane’s legal troubles as “a fight worth fighting.” Her office spokesman, Chuck Ardo, said he didn’t know if Kane sent a statement to Silverwood.

    “I can only confirm the attorney general sent a message of appreciation to her supporters,” said Ardo.

    The press conference was unorthodox. Some supporters took the podium to share their own grievances with Pennsylvania’s judicial system. One cited his suspended law license; another said she had been wronged by the courts in the course of her divorce. One of the leaders of the event proclaimed an “open mic” at one point.

    “We have this fellow come in and wants to make a statement, say hi,” said Bill Keisling, a Dauphin County resident. “Thirty-second open mic, here.”

    Kane faces criminal charges for allegedly leaking secret investigative material and lying about it to a grand jury. She has vowed to fight the charges without resigning.

    Her supporters called for “due process” for the attorney general, who they said deserves to defend herself before a jury of her peers before there’s suggestion of resignation — or removal. Behind them were spoof “Wanted” posters, urging the resignation of former state prosecutor Frank Fina, one of Kane’s fiercest critics.

    Keisling said he didn’t see anything incongruous about the two statements.

    “I think what I’ve said is that I don’t see any due process at all for Frank Fina,” said Keisling. “What is going on with Frank?”

    Fina was part of an exchange of pornographic emails within the Office of Attorney General before Kane was sworn in. Kane’s office unearthed the emails and submitted a selection of them to the state Supreme Court. The court unsealed the cache of emails last month. Fina’s current boss, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, said last week that Fina would not be fired, but would be enrolled in “sensitivity training,” along with two other former state prosecutors who were implicated in the porn swap, Marc Costanzo and Patrick Blessington.

    “That’s patronizing,” said Keisling. “What are we saying? Kane should lose her job and her reputation and Frank gets sensitivity training? That’s outrageous.”

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