Pennsylvania attorney general links adversaries, conspiracy

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Emails AG Kane says inspired plot against her released.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s embattled attorney general got part of what she wanted when court officials unsealed papers in which she accuses two former state prosecutors of concocting the criminal case against her because she was threatening to reveal their proclivity for pornography. PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Hundreds of pornographic images are among the documents unsealed Wednesday from an investigation that produced criminal charges against the state’s attorney general. For now, the documents contain the strongest line of attack yet from Kane on the alleged conspiracy against her and represent progress, if not victory, for her. — The latest on grand jury documents being unsealed related to the investigation against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (all times local): The Philadelphia district attorney’s office says it is reviewing newly unsealed court documents showing current employees sent or received pornographic emails while working for the state prosecutor’s office. Pennsylvania court officials released about 1,000 pages of records including scores of emailed images of nude or scantily clad women, some involving sexual acts.

The CBS3 I-Team obtained the e-mails which were distributed among prosecutors and agents who were employees of the attorney general’s office at the time. Among those documents is a motion filed last year, in which Kane’s lawyers allege that former prosecutors involved in the emails “manufactured” the grand jury probe to protect themselves.

He would not describe them or say which government agency possesses them because they may be subject to grand jury secrecy laws, he said. “I don’t see how any of this stuff about porn or the reasons why investigations were launched has anything to do with the charges against her,” said L. Carpenter’s order had sought to prevent any retaliation against witnesses in the investigation into allegations that Kane’s office had leaked investigative materials subject to secrecy protections.

Kathleen Kane’s lawyers wrote in a court filing in November 2014 trying to stop the investigation that Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo “triggered” it and then misled a judge about the emails to prevent Kane from releasing them. Kane independently released reams of other pornographic and sexually explicit emails last year, but she said Carpenter’s protective order limited what she could reveal or talk about. Fina and Costanzo wrote to Carpenter last year to seek an investigation into an alleged leak to the Philadelphia Daily News of material from a 2009 grand jury investigation. The emails were discovered as part of Kane’s inquiry into how the office handled the Fina-led investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State between 2008 and 2011.

Montgomery County prosecutors charged her on Aug. 6 with obstruction and conspiracy for allegedly leaking grand jury material and then lying about it, allegations she has vigorously denied. A district judge ruled after a preliminary hearing Monday there was sufficient evidence to send the case to court for trial. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries.

Among the materials released by the courts were 20 batches of email attachments, most involving nude and pornographic pictures or PowerPoint slideshows. Kane’s lawyers told the court that the two men “devised a plot to block their obscene emails from being released to the public.” They did so, the lawyers claim, by securing the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate her and then by making “materially misleading statements” to a judge to get him to sign off on a protective order that barred Ms. Kane identified former office employees, some of whom had gone on to positions in the Corbett administration, whose agency email accounts allegedly contained inappropriate messages. Prosecutors in Montgomery County alleged that she leaked details of a separate 2009 investigation involving the former head of the NAACP’s Philadelphia chapter. The emails ultimately led to the resignations of Seamus McCaffery, a state Supreme Court justice; Christopher Abruzzo, state secretary of environmental protection; Glenn Parno, a ranking DEP lawyer; Randy Feathers, a member of the state Board of Probation and Parole; and Richard Sheetz, a part-time Lancaster County assistant district attorney.

A law professor appointed to lead the review unexpectedly got access to a huge number of internal office emails when a special agent working on the Sandusky matter “devised a process to retrieve emails that had been deleted from the system,” the lawyers said. A spokesman for the attorney general, Chuck Ardo, said Wednesday that the office was pleased with the Supreme Court’s release of the documents and was reviewing the materials.

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