Former Pa. AG Kathleen Kane has only herself to blame
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane might be secretly wishing now that she had accepted her punishment when it was meted out two years ago, rather than pursue appeals that have turned out to be fruitless — and no doubt costly.
She’d be out of jail by now.
Kane, once a rising star in the Democratic Party who some political observers believed might have been a future candidate for governor or Congress, is about to pay the price for the governmental arrogance — a better description is abject stupidity — that brought about her downfall.
The Keystone State’s former top prosecutor was ordered by a judge in suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday to begin — by 9 a.m. Thursday — serving the 10- to 23-month prison term to which she was sentenced in October 2016 for leaking grand jury information and then lying about it.
However, Kane, not one to surrender easily, on Wednesday began seeking a “brief extension” before reporting to jail, purportedly so she could make arrangements for the care of her two teenage sons.
With more than two years having passed since her sentencing, Kane, who is divorced and has primary custody of her sons, had plenty of time for such preparations, in the event that her appeals were unsuccessful.
In fact, it can be concluded reasonably that her request for “preparation” time was a further example of her arrogance and her ongoing intent to toy with the criminal justice system.
Originally, she tried to capitalize on her elected power in an illegal way; that came back to haunt her big-time. Then, even at this late date, she chose not to go quietly to serve her debt to the people of this state — people who once harbored great trust regarding her abilities and her perceived honesty and integrity.
What state residents got instead was a disgraced public servant who ended up convicted of all charges that had been filed against her, including two felony perjury counts and seven misdemeanors, among them conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
The charges against Kane were filed in August 2015, and a month later, the state Supreme Court suspended her license to practice law.
Despite the charges and the high court action, Kane refused to resign from her position until Aug. 17, 2016, two days after her conviction and just about two months prior to her sentence being imposed.
She spent the next two-plus years pursuing her appeals until the state Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up her case.
On Tuesday, suburban Philadelphia Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy ruled that there no longer was any reason for Kane to remain free and issued the order for her prison time to begin.
Kane was the first woman and first Democrat to be elected as Pennsylvania’s attorney general since that office became an elected position in 1980.
Rather than serving in an honorable way, she got caught up in back-stabbing actions that eventually brought an end to what once was a promising political career.
Over the past two decades, Pennsylvania has experienced a troubling number of disgraced officials, some of whom were dealt jail sentences.
Now it’s Kane.
But considering how long it’s taken for jail to become a reality for her, it’s proper to lament how slowly the proverbial wheels of justice have turned.