Next Pa. attorney general to probe how Sandusky case was pursued

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HARRISBURG -- Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane will hire a special deputy attorney general to investigate the office's work on the Jerry Sandusky case, although she is setting no deadline for completing her review.

Ms. Kane, who will be sworn in for her new role on Tuesday, said in an interview that no one has been selected yet for that special deputy attorney general role.

She said she's looking for someone with "independence, experience in dealing with complex matters and going back over past cases, and who is non-political."

Setting a time frame for completing that report is difficult until she can access the confidential grand jury transcripts, she said, noting that it's not clear how voluminous those files are.

"I want them to be extremely thorough," she said of the soon-to-be-hired prosecutor.

During her attorney general campaign, Ms. Kane often criticized how the Sandusky case was handled by then-Attorney General Tom Corbett and his office, repeatedly questioning why criminal charges were not filed sooner.

Asked about the suit that Mr. Corbett filed last week over Penn State's NCAA sanctions, she declined to offer her opinion on the lawsuit or to critique his decision to pursue the suit without consulting her.

"It's a done deal and that's what we work with," Ms. Kane said. "I don't take anything personally because it shouldn't be. Why they did what they did is up to them."

Pursuing the lawsuit through the governor's office of general counsel instead of via the attorney general required a delegation of powers by Attorney General Linda Kelly. Ms. Kane said she does not believe that delegation of authority can be revoked.

Ms. Kane was the first Democrat and first woman elected state attorney general since that position was added to the ballot in 1980.

Looking ahead to her top priorities, she mentioned increasing efforts to combat street crime, child pornography and crimes against consumers.

She also said she would be supportive of an assault weapon ban and changes to purchasing rules at gun shows.

"We've had numerous tragedies," Ms. Kane said. "It's time to start talking about it and doing something. I'm going to be pushing that agenda."

Her team also on Thursday announced the hiring of 10 senior staffers, including selecting Philadelphia lawyer Adrian King as her first deputy attorney general and retaining Bruce Beemer, who served as Ms. Kelly's chief of staff, as senior counsel.


Harrisburg bureau chief Laura Olson: or 1-717-787-4254. First Published January 11, 2013 5:00 AM


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