Kane Blocks Subpoenas in Casino Investigation

KaneThis has become a bit of a recurring theme, but another report has emerged questioning the Attorney General’s decision making in a prosecution case.

According to Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kathleen Kane blocked subpoenas for Louis DeNaples and William Conaboy in an investigation concerning Donald Shiffer, former assistant counsel of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

DeNaples and Conaboy were set to be questioned and their testimony would be key in determining whether the grounds existed to charge Shiffer with perjury and violating PA’s conflict-of-interest law.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter was intent on following through with the case in the spring of 2013. She issued the two subpoenas and Bruce Beemer, who is now Kane’s top deputy, signed off on them.

Kane, however, was uncertain about having the two men testify and argued with her staff over the decision.

“Kane raised questions about Brandstetter’s style and was sympathetic to DeNaples, sources said,” wrote McCoy and Couloumbis.’’It was clear that she didn’t want it to go forward,’ according to someone familiar with prosecutors’ decision-making.”

Despite the fact that the men had agreed to an interview, the AG killed the meetings.

What makes the case suspicious is that DeNaples is a Scranton-area millionaire and Conaboy an influential Northeastern PA political player. Lackawanna County, of course, is where Kane is from.

In fact on October 3 of that year, after the investigation ended, DeNaples donated $25,000 to Kane’s campaign. According to the Inquirer’s report, the contribution was made through Pocono Gardens and was the only donation that entity has made in its six year history.

Kane returned the contribution on December 30, 2013.

This episode shares many similarities with some of the Attorney General’s past controversial actions.

For instance, the case resembles the now infamous Philly sting operation that Kane shut down and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams resurrected.

Also, Kane’s battle with her staff recalls the testimony her ex-Deputy gave that her team argued against leaking grand jury information.

An investigation was launched against the Attorney General over that leak which resulted in the recommendation of charges. This week, the State Supreme Court rejected Kane’s arguments that a special prosecutor shouldn’t get to decide whether to indict her.

The final irony was the AG’s response when asked for comment regarding this story on DeNaples’ and Conaboy’s subpoenas.

Any comment “would be a violation of grand jury secrecy rules,” her office told the Inquirer.

April 2nd, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 14 Comments

14 thoughts on “Kane Blocks Subpoenas in Casino Investigation”

  1. Jared says:

    @ bobguzzardi I think you have DeNaples confused with Bob Mericle, DeNaples had nothing to do with kids for cash, and you’re getting the county involved wrong. Besides, according to the article DeNaples sounded willing to testify or at least talk so I’m not sure there is straightforward showing of payoff for quashing the subpoena.

  2. Jan says:

    She really really needs to be fired.

  3. bobguzzardi says:

    How many has AG Kane convicted of government corruption?

    When are Spanier, Curley and Schultz going on trial or is AG Kane slow rolling a soft landing for these three who covered up serial child abuse including child rape. I am surprised there is not more outrage.

  4. harry glotz says:

    She is in the news everyday, but she claims it is all selective enforcement. What about the few who were fired for porn jokes but over 100 were guilty also.

  5. BARD says:

    “Pick targets with deep pockets”/”save targets from going bankrupt”

    Your list could use a little work

  6. bungy says:

    GREAT JOB FRANK FINA. If this was Kane they would have got NOTHING. Kane let’s most DEMOCRAT criminals off the hook. This is only the tip of the iceburg, like I told all months ago. Take a wild guess who the guys She got into the “car accident” with worked for.

  7. Montco PA Dem says:

    How to play “Fake Tough Prosecutor”:

    1) Pick targets without deep pockets, preferably minorities
    2) Build a shabby case that would never win in court
    3) Offer a bargain-basement plea deal that saves targets from going bankrupt paying attorney fees.
    4) Feed this BS to lazy reporters

    Apparently, this is a very popular game here.

  8. Whistleblower says:

    Bungy- thank Fina?? Miranda and his sister plead to FELONIES and got PROBATION. They should do at least the minimum 6 months

  9. bungy says:

    FINA FOR A.G. Bob Guzzardi, Seth and Fina Got 2 more convictions today, Ex-state Rep Miranda and sister. Thank the Lord for these Guys.

  10. Jennifer says:

    How long before Lanny Davis explains that this, too, is a plot by white mail Republicans?

  11. bobguzzardi says:

    DeNaples quashed subpoenas $25,000 …

    those are not what you want your name to be associated with, particularly, if you are the chief law enforcement of Pennsylvania.

    Lackawanna “Kids for Cash” County’s Louis DeNaples …quashed subpoenas…$25,000 …Lackawanna AG …Donald Shiffer’s career moves …the timeline is compelling.

    And, of course, it appears as if the evidence show AG Kane illegally disclosed Grand Jury testimony. I predict an indictment and plea bargain…for everything.

    The original expose was written by Craig McCoy whose investigative expose of Seamus McCaffery’s referral fees from lawyers appearing before him was a contributing factor to law enforcement’s investigation of former Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and his consequent resignation in disgrace.

    I think, too, that Seth Williams has distinguished himself as a prosecutor of political corruption. And Frank Fina’s skills as a prosecutor organizing the evidence are seen to be impressive.

    The Big Loser: we, the people, of Pennsylvania.

    It is encouraging to see the Inquirer do real investigative reporting. My despair has respite.May Craig McCoy continue with a strong hand.

  12. John1984 says:

    Not having access to the facts directly makes it difficult to know if Kane is merely incompetent or criminally corrupt. Her incredibly poor judgment clearly renders her unfit to be AG. Last time we had a terrible choice- Kane or that other political loser Murphy. Both are best when not in elected office. Hopefully we will have a better choice in 2016.

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