Judge: Kane must appear Thursday to explain suggestion that Sandusky materials were leaked
November 4, 2015 11:02 PM
Matt Rouke/Associated Press
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane departs after her preliminary hearing Aug. 24 at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
By Karen Langley / Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG — A judge has ordered state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to testify behind closed doors today about any leak of confidential information by a judge or prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
Last week, Ms. Kane issued a news release accusing Judge Barry Feudale of the “reckless breach of sealed Supreme Court documents” and named the Sandusky case, among others, as matters in which participants in the alleged leaks had been involved.
Judge John Cleland, who presides over the Sandusky case, ordered Ms. Kane to disclose any information to suggest that the judge or state prosecutors participated in leaks in the case.
In his order Wednesday, Judge Cleland said Ms. Kane had reported she had “no knowledge at this time of any email that proves such leak[s].” But he said her response appeared to “not directly address” his initial order.
Chuck Ardo, spokesman for Ms. Kane, said the attorney general will review the order and “respond accordingly.”
“She certainly believes she was responding appropriately to the judge’s request,” Mr. Ardo said.
Separately, the chairman of a Senate committee reviewing how the recent suspension of Ms. Kane’s law license affects her ability to do her job said the committee will hold a hearing Monday at which district attorneys will testify.
Chairman John Gordner, R-Columbia, said the committee has heard from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association about concerns with the process of making referrals to the attorney general’s office in cases of conflicts.
In announcing the establishment of the special committee, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati referenced a provision of the state Constitution allowing for elected officials — with the exception of the governor, lieutenant governor, legislators and judges — to be removed by the governor “on the address” of two-thirds of the Senate.
The committee is charged with reporting to the full Senate later this month.
In a statement addressed to Gov. Tom Wolf, members of the Senate committee, justices of the state Supreme Court, the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office and others, Judge Feudale called Ms. Kane “legally, ethically and morally incompetent to serve as attorney general.”
County prosecutors have charged Ms. Kane with perjury, obstruction and other crimes, saying the attorney general engineered the disclosure of confidential information to retaliate against former state prosecutors she believed had sought to embarrass her.
She has claimed the charges against her were orchestrated by people trying to conceal an exchange of pornographic emails on state computers.
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