National News

Prosecutors to seek time behind bars for ex-attorney general

Posted October 17

— Prosecutors will seek a jail or prison sentence for former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane in her perjury and obstruction case.

Kane faces sentencing next week after a jury convicted her this summer of leaking grand jury material to a newspaper and then lying about it under oath.

The 50-year-old Kane, who lives in the Scranton area, has two school-age sons and will push for probation or house arrest at the Oct. 24 hearing. The first-term Democrat stepped down after her August conviction on two felony and seven misdemeanor counts.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, also a Democrat, argued in a court filing Monday that Kane abused her power to settle personal scores. He said morale sank in her 800-person office and in the state's law enforcement community at large.

"The defendant acted in a paranoid manner and repeatedly misused her official authority to advance her personal vendettas," he wrote in the sentencing memo.

Steele will seek consecutive sentences on many of the counts. That could bring a maximum sentence of 12 to 24 years, although the guidelines suggest far less time for first-time offenders.

Kane's lawyers have asked that she be assessed for a possible home confinement sentence, and Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy agreed to the request Monday. Steele opposed the move.

According to Steele's motion, Kane, the first Democrat and first woman elected to the office, told officials preparing a presentencing report for the judge that she was just trying to do her job.

"People tend to play it safe. People elected me to do a job, and I will do it. The thought of losing my kids over a job kills me," she said, according to Steele's memo.

Kane also said the charges were the result of a "30-second decision," but Steele argued that considerable planning and plotting went into the leak.


This story has deleted an incorrect reference to Steele seeking a two-year minimum term.


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