Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has had her law license revoked and is facing charges of perjury over internal governmental disputes with roots in the 2012 child sex abuse case involving Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the University of Pennsylvania.
In a complex series of information leaks that have come to light since the case, officials are now disputing the limits of government email privacy after Kane disclosed having found a stash of pornographic images that had been relayed between high-ranking officials via official government email accounts. Since releasing these emails incrementally, Kane has been facing pressure from many, including administrators in her office and Governor Tom Wolf, to resign.
Kane is under fire for allegedly releasing information about a 2009 grand jury investigation to the press, and then lying about having done so. But one of the people bringing the charges against her is a former prosecutor on the Sandusky case, and one of the people known to have shared pornographic images via official email, raising the possibility of retaliation.
In the meantime, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (OAG) remains divided against itself, and whether Kane will remain in office is still an open question. Similarly, top law officials seem divided among themselves about the limits of privacy when using government email addresses or equipment. The scandal, while technically known as “porngate,” also includes emails that have been deemed to be racially offensive.
While some maintain that Kane won’t be able to execute her duties of office with pending criminal charges against her, others say the scandal reveals a self-protective old-boy network within the justice system.