GOV. TOM WOLF has said he did not believe ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE should resign. Specifically he stated, “We have procedures in place for adjudicating the rights and wrongs.” Technically he is right. However, doubts about Kane’s ability to do her job are not limited to the Montgomery County grand-jury indictment. In the past two years she has engaged in a daunting series of missteps and misdeeds.
Her first missteps started before she took office. In the 2012 election, she promised to review the Sandusky prosecution suggesting that then-ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM CORBETT mishandled the case. She also ran ads with the slogan, “Send a prosecutor to Harrisburg, not a politician”; suggesting her opponent, seasoned and highly respected prosecutor DAVID FREED, was really a politician in sheep’s clothing. Well, both were untrue. After an extensive review by a special investigator of the Sandusky case, she was pained to admit Corbett’s prosecutors did their jobs. We now know who the political animal was in that race. Sadly, not only is she a politician, she is not a good one.
Things really started going downhill for her when she fell afoul of the mainstream media (which is really hard for a Democratic female to do). It was revealed that she decided not to prosecute Philadelphia Democratic politicians because she thought the investigation was racially biased. The sting investigation, conducted by now-Philadelphia prosecutor and then-ASSISTANT AG FRANK FINA, had a number of state legislators and a Traffic Court judge on tape accepting illegal contributions. Philadelphia DA SETH WILLIAMS decided to pick up the cases and his office has been successful.
After another Philadelphia paper published a less-than-favorable article about her, she demanded an interview with the editorial board. She arrived at the meeting with controversial attorney RICHARD SPRAGUE and refused to comment based on advice from counsel.
Last year she released the names of people then in the Corbett administration as well as former state employees who passed around pornographic materials, sometimes through their state email accounts. Where she stepped afoul here was that the list she issued conveniently had the names of any Democrats redacted. So it did look like a political ploy to hurt Corbett in his reelection campaign.
An anonymous source sent pornographic emails initiated by then-SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SEAMUS McCAFFERY to a local Philadelphia paper. Instead of just letting the issue go, Kane then claimed the pornography exchanges included images of children. The next day, her office released a statement that the images of children were not pornographic. Why did she mention the pictures of children then?
Her most-recent misstep is an alleged misdeed. She is accused of illegally leaking details of a grand-jury investigation of former NAACP leader JERRY MONDESIRE. A Montgomery County grand jury recommended Kane be tried for the leaks. Her attorneys claimed JUDGE WILLIAM CARPENTER, who appointed the grand-jury prosecutor, did not have the authority to do so. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard heard her complaint. Unfortunately for her, four of the five sitting Supreme Court justices believe judges could appoint such prosecutors.
The Supreme Court decision allows Montgomery County DA RISA VETRI FERMAN to pursue charges against Kane. She has hired high-profile legal counsel such as New York defense attorney GERALD SHARGEL Washington crisis manager LANNY DAVIS.
COUNCILMAN DAVID OH will introduce a bill to amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter addressing concerns about deteriorating bridges and other structures that are not owned by the City of Philadelphia. Non-City owners of such deteriorating infrastructures are not accepting responsibility for remediating the corrosion and are posing increasing danger to nearby pedestrians and drivers. As a matter of public safety, it is critical that the City take action to have the owner remediate the danger, or to do the remediation itself and recover the costs.
The bill increases the power of the Dept. of Streets to repair and maintain streets (including highways, roads, alleyways, footways, bridges, tunnels, overpasses, and underpasses) that are not owned, controlled, or operated by the City. Streets can compel the owner of the deteriorating street with fines or other legal actions to perform the necessary work to remediate the peril.