Deputy AGs to Testify Wednesday

KaneFour Deputy Attorneys General will testify tomorrow before the newly-formed Senate committee determining AG Kathleen Kane’s future in her position.

First Deputy Bruce Beemer and Executive Deputies James Donohue III, Robert Mulle and Larry Cherba are expected to explain a letter in which they asked Kane to turn over her duties as the state’s top lawyer to Beemer, Sen. John Gordner – chairman of the special committee – said at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings.

The letter was written on Oct. 22, the same day the PA Supreme Court suspended Kane’s law license. In their letter, the deputies warn Kane she could jeopardize all legal cases involving the Office of the Attorney General if she does not fully step aside.

“The suspension of her law license does not eradicate her knowledge of the law, but she is being scrupulous about abiding by the suspension and not making any legal decisions,” Kane’s spokesman Chuck Ardo said.

On Tuesday, the committee heard testimony from several constitutional and legal ethics experts about Kane’s rights and duties during her suspension, Steve Esack of the Morning Call reports.

The special State Senate committee is tasked with examining whether Kane can function as Attorney General without her law license. The committee will then issue their recommendation on the situation, which could see Kane kicked out of office.

36 Responses

  1. @ aaron:

    Just like international law [including Sharia] should not affect the SCOTUS [even if some libs would wish otherwise], whatever occurs anywhere other than in PA is irrelevant with regard to the need to invoke the Commonwealth’s constitution exclusively.

  2. Attorneys General in 23 other states, the U.S. Attorney General, and even U.S. Supreme Court Justices are not required to hold a state bar law license.

    Game over. Kane stays unless they can impeach her. Give her a trial or give it up!!

  3. Terry M – what the Senate is doing is a sham. They are collecting sound-bytes to support the pre-ordained conclusion they were always going to come to. This is a joke; and the people of PA now know it. Just look at the most recent poll numbers. 54% do not support the Senate’s actions. It’s a Kangaroo Court.

    There is a reason Impeachment requires a trial. We don’t want people like Fina and Castille being able to overturn an election because they don’t like someone … or because someone has the goods on them.

    Nothing wrong with wanting to get rid of Kane. She may have it coming. But – do it the right way. Don’t be sneaky.

  4. JPaul, the criminal proceedings are separate and have a higher standard than the Senate proceedings. And the Senate proceedings are not based on assumptions. You may have noticed that they are taking testimony and gathering documents. That record is what will inform the Senate’s decision, not assumptions.

  5. KK is entitled to presumption of innocence until and unless she is convicted of any wrongdoing. Assumptions should not be a basis for a Senate action – let alone the pathetic conduct by our corrupted Supreme Court and a biased Judicial Conduct Board to apply a double standard. Elections need to be respected. Let KK serve until her term ends or she is actually convicted of wrongdoing. This process stinks- why not use it against Fina, Rendell and that incredible example of high ethical standards- John Street?

  6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

    After having reviewed 8 major news-sources and a dozen complementary pieces, it would seem that the Special Senate Committee has accrued sufficient evidence of both ongoing dysfunction and the prospect it will explode for an indeterminate time-frame.

    Prior testimony framed the questions tackled during the climactic session on Wednesday, and the use of catch-phrases that are laden with legal import [akin to “impairment”] recalls [in my professional medical activities] how this status yields a definitive endpoint [“disability”].

    The concept of “maximal medical improvement” to maintain bodily function is applied under such circumstances by the SSA-ODAR’s ALJs, and the metaphor here can be viewed as the chief-aides having applied “maximal legal exertions” to maintain office function.

    Despite it all, and recognizing how it’s difficult to freeze a facet [indeed, the CHIEF facet] of one’s professional background when acting holistically [for it would seem that there is a “legal” component to most any decision anyone makes, these days], it would appear that they will lower the boom expeditiously.

    Were they to elect not to do so, they would have to unearth cogent rationale for permitting maintenance of the status-quo; they would, however, subject themselves to critique if/when inevitable legal challenges to her activities were to arise.

  7. “Awaiting moderation” is my précis of yesterday’s hearing, drawn from eight major news-sources in PA.

    http://senateaddress.pasen.gov/111815/

    News-clips of this event have also been compiled.

    http://pacapitoldigestcrisci.blogspot.com/

    Also, 166 [and counting] pieces have been written on this topic.

    https://news.google.com/news/more?ncl=dDOrgumdgYhfppMLKm3KOKnJaFcBM&authuser=0&ned=us

    *

    Framing how he views his role, Beemer said “This presents enormous challenges….All we can do is operate with the hand that we have been dealt.”

    http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/senate-committee-questions-kanes-involvement-in-office-operations&template=mobileart

    Her chief-aides disagreed with her “assessment that few adjustments to office operations are required during the term of your license suspension.”

    http://buzzbry.com/major-prosecutors-underneath-ag-kathleen-kane-increase-problems-about-her-lack-of-an-energetic-legislation-license/

    It should be recalled that the charge to the committee is unrelated to her criminal-woes: “The committee is studying whether to remove Kane under a provision of the state Constitution – last used in 1891 – for ‘incapacity,’ or the inability to do her job, in this case because her license has been suspended.”

    http://oracleunion.com/2015/11/19/attorney-general-kane-focus-of-senate-hearing/

    Overall, there were “several uncomfortable moments for the four lawyers” when pressed regarding their current professional activities.”

    http://wirelessgoodness.com/2015/11/19/attorney-general-kane-focus-of-senate-hearing17903/

    As a result, a “Professor [concluded that the] State Senate could and should remove AG Kane from office” because she is “collecting a paycheck while not being able to perform the duties of her office.”

    http://pennrecord.com/stories/510648682-professor-state-senate-could-and-should-remove-ag-kane-from-office

    Although it was acknowledged that “attorney general does have a purely public function – she can make speeches and other public appearances, and help run the office’s contests for schoolchildren,” it was noted that her assessment of her predicament has been mirrored by many PoliticsPa posters: “The Democratic attorney general has blamed her legal woes on conservative prosecutors employed by her Republican predecessors, many of them involved in the investigation and prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach convicted of child sex abuse.”

    http://heraldvoice.com/2015/11/19/pa-attorney-general-kathleen-kanes-top-deputies-worry/

    They were constantly circumspect, but they admitted “The staffers said they have had little contact and no interference with Kane, admitting they are not certain where or when she works.”

    http://seatingchair.com/2015/11/19/attorney-general-kane-focus-of-senate-hearing-28556.html

    To be fair, despite all of the above, a defensive legalistic posture permeated: “Bruce Beemer, the first deputy attorney general, said he believed the office was operating legally even though the state constitution requires the attorney general to hold a law licenses.”

    http://www.mytechbits.com/attorney-general-kane-focus-of-senate-hearing/98171648/

    After the hearing, it was averred that “If she has a supervising attorney she has to follow the rule and, that is, submit the appropriate form as properly certified and signed” by Robert Davis Jr. [a former deputy with the state Disciplinary Board for lawyers and an adjunct ethics professor at Widener University School of Law].

    http://billsinsider.com/2015/11/19/15983-attorney-general-kane-focus-of-senate-hearing/

    Ultimately, they concluded: “We’re in uncharted water.”

    http://www.tribdem.com/news/local_news/we-re-in-uncharted-water-defense-attorneys-try-to-capitalize/article_890c84e4-c2f5-56aa-943e-b2f6fb693830.html

    Indeed, “Beth Weisser, a Fox Rothschild partner who represents lawyers in disciplinary proceedings, said even continuing to use the title of attorney general is “problematic” for Kane, because lawyers are supposed to stop giving even the impression they can practice law when their license is suspended.”

    http://www.ledgergazette.com/senior-lawyers-outline-effect-of-ag-s-law-license-suspension/139016/

    *

    Although not explicitly quoted in these articles, I felt that the climactic event occurred @ minute #100 of the aforementioned video [following the query of Sen. Lisa Baker] when the recitation of established deficiencies in the office of AG prompted Beemer to anticipate that the crescendo of the enhanced external/internal workload will rise to unanticipated levels; he had been prodded to generate that conclusion after having been “reminded” that the duration of the license-suspension cannot be viewed as limited, as per comments @ minute #104.

    She concluded: “Clearly you are impacted, you are impeded, and you are wounded.”

    http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202742792783/Kanes-Deputies-Detail-Suspensions-Extraordinary-Impact?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL

    THEREFORE, it’s probably desirable to anticipate what will transpire after the pre-Thanksgiving report has been rendered, inasmuch as AG-Kane’s “due process rights” [lionized so often @ this website] can be defined as “notice” and the “right to rebut.”

    Recall [Article IV Section 7 of the state constitution]: “All civil officers elected by the people…shall be removed by the Governor for reasonable cause, after due notice and full hearing, on the address of two-thirds of the Senate.”

    She certainly has received notice, and it is plausible that an adverse-report would be followed by her being “invited” to explain-away how she continues to fulfill her duties [for which another “event” would have to be scheduled] if it is felt that a “full hearing” would necessitate this level of follow-up.

  8. I “grabbed popcorn” and watched yesterday’s hearing, noting…

    “Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s top deputies said Wednesday that the longer their boss remains in office with a suspended law license, the higher the legal jeopardy for both the office and its cases.”

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20151119_Effect_of_Kane_s_suspension__profound_-_extraordinary__really___aides_say.html#qfXliKxSlV7CP874.99

    Also, “State prosecutors face the ‘nuclear option’ of a violent criminal’s release if a judge upholds a defense lawyer’s challenge based on Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s suspended law license, her second-in-command told a Senate committee Wednesday.”

    http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/9466185-74/kane-beemer-committee

    They also reported that they expend additional “hours” due to the following additional task: “Beemer said he also was worried about protecting the staff of the 700-employee office from inadvertently committing illegal or unethical acts because Kane’s license is suspended.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/pennsylvania-attorney-generals-aide-concerned-license-suspension-012501198–nfl.html

    Recall [as per a prior hyperlink] that: “The four deputies developed an Oct. 22 memo that listed a range of duties Kane could not perform, and sent it to her just as the suspension took effect. She has not explicitly endorsed the protocols but neither has she violated them, Beemer said. Lawyers under suspension can only engage in legal activities if under the supervision of a fully licensed lawyer, and the deputies said they’re not aware of her establishing such an overseer.”

    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-kathleen-kane-top-deputies-testify-20151118-story.html

    Repeatedly, they attempted to differentiate the “disability” of the AG from their efforts to maintain the activities of the OFFICE of the AG, but it was also noted that certain functions [including being involved with pardons] can only be fulfilled by the AG: “A problem could arise, said Robert Mulle, head of the civil law section, if the state seeks to issue general obligation bonds, as could occur as part of a budget deal; in the past, they have been signed by major state office holders including the attorney general.”

    http://www.centredaily.com/news/state/pennsylvania/article45370413.html

    They disputed “a statement by Ms. Kane’s spokesman that only perhaps 2 percent of her duties require a valid law license” because “The vast majority of the work is to make legal decisions.”

    http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2015/11/18/Deputy-AG-Kathleen-Kane-s-license-suspension-has-had-profound-and-extraordinary-effect/stories/201511180212

    Ominously, “Beemer said they have not sorted out the question of who hires, fires and disciplines the office’s 835 employees, which include a couple hundred lawyers.”

    http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Senior-lawyers-outline-effect-of-AG-s-law-license-6641572.php

    Despite the fact that “the deputies appeared before the Committee with the understanding they would not be asked if Kane is fit to serve with a suspended law license, a pivotal conclusion was reached: “Beemer added later in the hearing the head of the office is clearly “legally disabled” from performing the responsibilities of the office.”

    http://pacapitoldigestcrisci.blogspot.com/

    An video-version of the hearing can be accessed.

    http://www.pasenategop.com/blog/2015/11/17/111815-3/

  9. Nope. You are wrong, troll-boy. I hope they do try to impeach Kane. POPCORN will be ready for the trial !!

    I will continue to call a spade a spade … A pervert racist creep a pervert racist creep …. And a troll a troll.

    You need to join the HaHaHa Fan Club!!! You will get a free autograph in the mail.

  10. KK should get a trial. But if they started impeachment, I would call that a kangaroo court too. And I will call the Montgomery County trial a kangaroo court too.

  11. DD – Agreed. There needs to be a trial before an election can be over-turned. They could have already impeached Kane by now … if they weren’t so scared of a trial.

  12. “You have you use the meaning of the words at the time the document was created, as well as the debates and drafts to see the intent. The section was for removal due to senility.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, David Diano — the non-lawyer legal scholar! Unfortunately, the non-lawyer is completely wrong about his principles of constitutional interpretation. It’s the plain language that matters first and foremost. You then consider whether the constitution has been amended since the AG became an elected official — it has, several times — because that it is evidence that the people were aware of this provision and how it applies to the AG and they approved of it.

    But stay tuned, because in our next episode, David “The Non-Lawyer Legal Scholar” will explain the finer points of Marbury v. Madison and its role in modern liberal judicial activism.

  13. HaHaHa-

    The “plainly” stated section does not apply to this situation. You have you use the meaning of the words at the time the document was created, as well as the debates and drafts to see the intent. The section was for removal due to senility.

    Given that Kane is a higher ranking elected official than some of other elected officials excluded (the wasn’t an elected AG position at the time), it’s pretty clear that AG should be part of the exception.

    When they attempt their end-run, Kane will appeal to the Supreme Court for an interpretation of the state Constitution for a ruling on whether or not they misapplied the section. (Hint: the senate does not have the authority by this means, and has to use impeachment for removal, if Kane has not been convicted in court).

    Fake Pat-
    It is a witch hunt. The Dems are using it as an opportunity to put in someone who will be more to their political liking and maintain the status quo and look the other way. Shame on any Dem that supports Kane’s removal without a trial.

  14. sklaroff is a mental patient.

    He loves TEA and Jello … and hollering at the kids on his front lawn.

    In his free time, he posts “hyper-links” and repeats himself ad nauseum.

    When the Repervlican-controlled Senate votes to “remove” Kane (using a bizarre clause written in the 1800s to help get rid of low-level officials who have gone senile), he will, no doubt, have a massive heart attack and die.

    Which will be a shame. Because he will then miss Kane staying in office and taking the battle to the Supreme Court – where the corrupt bigot will have to recuse himself.

  15. Oops … I meant to post that on the other “Lead Story” … the one where McGinty is also calling for Seth Williams to fire Fina and the Corbett Pervs still collecting salaries from the citizens of Philadelphia.

    I put it there too. Thank you, Groupie-Troll-who’s-comments-are-all-disappearing.

  16. Let me guess … there hasn’t even been any “sensitivity training.”

    Seth Williams dodging questions + Quote below from City’s Deputy Mayor = No training

    “How many hours of training did they get? Who hosted it? What did it cost? Was there a bidding process?” Ahmad said.

    Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said the city’s Human Resources Department had not provided sensitivity training for the prosecutors. “I’m surprised he hasn’t answered the question,” Gillison said of Williams.

    Wow! Just … Wow !!

  17. Diano, by “end-run around the constitution,” I mean “the constitution,” since, of course, the Senate is using a provision that is plainly stated in the constitution.

  18. So many fake HaHaHa’s.

    But only one me !!!

    DD – What do you think Kane does when the Repervlican-controlled Senate completes their attempted end-around on the Constitution?

  19. Senator Rutherford B. Cattywampus-

    And, more importantly, who would want to assume the identity of rsklaroff? Attempting to duplicate his mind-altering word-salad could cause a psychotic break.

    This could be handled with email addresses matched to screen names. I assume that a fake “HaHaHa” would not know the original email address used by the original “HaHaHa”.

    I have a completely separate, unique, email address that I use exclusively with this site, to allow verification of my identity by the moderators. So, any fake “me” is easily identified in a cleanup operation.

    Username/email could be treated like a login/password (if the site software allows it).

  20. The poll numbers speak volumes about what Pennsylvanians feel about the Senate’s end-around on the Constitution.

    54% are AGAINST what the Senate is trying to do.

  21. rsklaroff — what is the definition of a stolen screen name on a site where you can use whatever screen name you want? Do people have their screen names trademarked here, or did I miss something?

  22. The Senate ought to be ashamed. Why are they so scared of the trial that would happen if they did as the Constitution requires?

    Everyone knows the answer to that. They are trying to rail-road Kane. She has the goods on too many powerful people. The last thing they want is a trial.

  23. Notice + opportunity to respond in a hearing = the very definition of due process. I’m glad that Pat Unger finally admitted that he is a “Kane loyalist.” Fortunately there are only about 6 of them in the entire state. This is bipartisan, Kane tells her side of the story, and it requires a two-thirds vote, just like in impeachment. I don’t really see the problem here, and the “loyalists” would make the same complaint if it were impeachment.

  24. Agreed, Court Watcher. And if they wanted her gone ahead of the 2016 Election, they should be trying to impeach her.

    It is a good thing that all the bad actors are being exposed for what they are. Harrisburg is a cess-pool. Time to clean it up.

    The problem all along with the “case” against Kane has been the corrupt sh-theads behind it. Something is very wrong when Kane is prosecuted for one alleged leak and the Clown Car gets away with their MANY illegal leaks.

    Most that have been called “Kane supporters” are really just did process and Constitution supporters. Everything else is just noise.

  25. Getting staff to hang her out to dry will not change the belief held by her loyalists that this is a witch hunt. Stupid politics like forming this committee feed Democrats’ hopes of holding onto this office. Republicans would have been smarter to stand back and let her keep destroying herself.

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