Pa. Senate panel on Kane holds first public hearing

     Pennsylvania Sens. Lisa Baker and Gene Yaw, center, listen during the first public hearing of a special Pennsylvania Senate committee set up to determine whether to seek removal proceedings against Attorney General Kathleen Kane Monday. (AP photo/Marc Levy)

    Pennsylvania Sens. Lisa Baker and Gene Yaw, center, listen during the first public hearing of a special Pennsylvania Senate committee set up to determine whether to seek removal proceedings against Attorney General Kathleen Kane Monday. (AP photo/Marc Levy)

    The unusual Pennsylvania Senate committee plumbing the consequences of Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s law license suspension got an earful from three district attorneys Monday.

    All said they could not do their jobs without an active law license.

    “You could say what I do is administrative, but virtually every part of it is based on the fact that I am a lawyer, that I have legal experience on making legal judgments,” said David Heckler, the Republican district attorney of Bucks County.

    “I would be totally ineffective and, basically, I would be on a permanent vacation if I didn’t have a law license,” said Berks County District Attorney John Adams, a Democrat. “My golf game might get better, but that’s about it. I’m not going to be able to do my job.”

    Kane, whose law license was suspended last month in light of criminal charges filed against her, has said she doesn’t need an active license to do the vast majority of her official tasks.

    The three district attorneys provided less certain guidance on how Kane’s suspended law license could affect their work.

    Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser, the Democratic district attorney for Somerset County, raised concerns that a joint task force with her agency and the Office of Attorney General might be affected by Kane’s legal issues. She also raised the possibility that merely invoking Kane’s troubles could tarnish a prosecution – the so-called “K factor.”

    The testimony was the first collected in public by a Senate committee considering Kane’s removal by means of a little-known provision of the state Constitution. Kane has refused to cooperate with the Senate committee, which she says lacks the authority to consider her removal.

    The Senate panel’s specific scope is to consider whether Kane can do her job with a shelved law license. Kane is contesting multiple counts of perjury and other charges over allegedly leaking secret information to seek revenge on a critic and then attempting a cover-up.

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