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Kane Refuses to Release Sexually-Explicit Emails

Kathleen-Kane-portrait1Attorney General Kathleen Kane is refusing to release “racy” emails in the office’s archives, at least for the moment.

The Tribune-Review requested these emails under Pennsylvania’s open records law, which ensures that agencies are given access to records to which they are entitled. Sarah Yerger, a Harrisburg-based attorney for Post & Schell law firm representing Kane’s office, denied the request.

“To the extent the emails exist, the sought-after information does not constitute a ‘record’… that documents a transaction or activity of an agency,” said Yerger, a former senior deputy attorney general.

The emails included jokes and puns from staff members regarding pictures of scantily clad and topless women, and men and women engaged in sex acts.

Yerger said the emails “may be relevant to the investigation of violations of agency policies and the appropriate use of agency equipment.” She implied that the investigation isn’t a criminal one, citing a “non-criminal exception” to the Right to Know Law. Yerger said she could not give specifics about the investigation.

The emails circulated during a five-year period during Governor Corbett’s tenure as attorney general, and only came to light when Kane ordered an investigation of Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. Corbett told investigators at the time that he didn’t know of the emails while they were circulating, but it was later revealed that his campaign manager, Mike Barley, told him of the emails after the investigation.

The vulgar emails could risk the jobs of several employees still working in the attorney general’s office and have been the subject of much debate. When the emails were first discovered during Kane’s investigation, Cambria County Court Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III placed a freeze on the correspondence which made them inaccessible to the public.

Former Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank G. Fina, who led the Sandusky investigation, had argued to Krumenacker that because the emails were discovered during Kane’s internal review of the investigation, which involved grand jury material, they should not be made public.

However, Kane’s offices has since counter-argued that the emails do not contain any pertinent grand jury material and are non-criminal in nature. On September 19th, Krumenacker reversed his order and lifted the ban.

Kane has so far declined to release the emails, however, and has denied claims made by both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Tribune-Review to view the documents.

9 Responses

  1. Guess that decision got reversed… Didn’t take long.
    Should be interesting to see what comes out. There may be a shocker or two in there. Stay tuned…

  2. As a senior I have lived a long life and seem to remember doing many silly things over the years. I don’t recall sending sexual emails during work time as one of them. I have received some types of pornographic or graphic stuff and find some funny and some disgusting.

    That beging said if the emails are viewed and sent during work from lawyers who find the need to do such things as a point of humor or even if they are surprised by some of what they review, I believe these people to be a bit stupid toward exercising the jobs they have.

    More silly is the public’s need to know the details of this issue and if Ms. Kane doesn’t believe that people should be subjected to the humiliation of being seen as silly and as she as the one elected to oversee the department finds no problem in just handling the matter internally – that is the job we elected her to do.

    This is not a matter for getting even and I applaud Ms. Kane for her self-discipline. If she did release this she would face the outcry of some for being petty.

    Doing long term damage to others has been a long held tactic in politics and should never be allowed just to bow to public curiosity. If the actions are not criminal then the employees should be subject to the same privacy rights of other employees who stumble as they behave in silly ways. Do unto others is a matter of ethics even for those engaged in the legal profession!

  3. Fina’s name is all over those emails. Kathleen has his career by the short hairs. I think that is the last we have heard from Frankie Pankie about Kane’s performance. Shut up and run off now, Frank. We’ve heard enough out of you.

  4. Fina will come out smelling like a rose. Mark my word. Wait until the other shoe drops. You don’t know what I Know.

  5. “To the extent the emails exist, the sought-after information does not constitute a ‘record’… that documents a transaction or activity of an agency,” said Yerger, a former senior deputy attorney general.

    Five years of exchanging pornographic material inside the Office of the Attorney General DOES document transactions and activities of the agency. The emails should be disclosed.

    Frank Fina and his team of prosecutors, investigators and judges should be charged with Thief of Service counts. They were probably watching porno as they prepared criminal charges of Thief of Service against others.

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