Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will be sentenced Monday for leaking secret investigative documents and lying about it under oath.
Kane resigned as the state’s chief law enforcement officer in August, two days after a jury in Montgomery County convicted her of two counts of perjury and seven other misdemeanor charges.
Common Pleas Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy has the discretion to sentence Kane to probation or as much as 12 to 24 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines suggest a maximum penalty of one year of incarceration for each count of perjury.
“Given the fact that Kathleen Kane has no prior criminal record and is the mother of two boys, that would weigh in favor of a probationary sentence,” said George Parry, a former federal and state prosecutor. “But given the seriousness of the charges on which she’s been convicted and the fact she broke the law as a high public official, I think that would weigh in favor of a sentence of incarceration.”
Prosecutors argue Kane deserves significant jail time for orchestrating a plot to exact revenge on former state prosecutor Frank Fina. Kane blamed Fina for planting a negative story about her in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The jury found Kane leaked confidential material to the Philadelphia Daily News in an attempt to get her own article published showing Fina dropped the ball on an investigation into the finances of former Philadelphia NAACP president, J. Whyatt Mondesire.
Political consultant Joshua Morrow testified in court that he delivered the documents to a newspaper reporter on Kane’s behalf and helped her create a cover story when a grand jury began investigating the leak.
In documents filed with the court last week, the Montgomery County district attorney’s office wrote, “Kane’s crimes and her behavior in office not only destroyed morale within the [Office of Attorney General], it diminished the reputation of the entire OAG and law enforcement generally.”
Kane’s attorney, Marc Steinberg, said in a filing that she “feels deep regret … and respects the decision reached by the jury.” However, because she is a mother of two sons with no prior criminal record, Steinberg argued she should receive probation or house arrest so she’s not separated from her children. Kane shares custody of her two sons with her ex-husband.
Kane’s sentencing hearing begins at 10 a.m. at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown.