Former state AG back in jail for alleged probation violation

Prison term for disgraced former AG Kathleen Kane
Dan Gleiter of PennLive/Pool Photo

A former Pennsylvania attorney general who served jail time for leaking grand jury material and lying about it was taken into custody Friday on an alleged probation violation, more than a month after she was charged with drunken driving, officials said.

Kathleen Kane, 55, was behind bars at Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philadelphia to await a hearing. No hearing date had been set as of Friday afternoon.

A message was left for her attorney in the drunken driving case.

Once a rising star in Pennsylvania politics, Kane resigned as attorney general after being convicted in 2016 of perjury, obstruction and other counts for leaking secret investigative files to embarrass a rival prosecutor.

Kane was sentenced to 10 to 23 months behind bars, serving her time at the Montgomery County jail outside Philadelphia. She was released in 2019. Her term of probation doesn’t end until October 2025.

On March 12, police in Scranton were called to the scene of a two-car crash and said they found Kane behind the wheel of an Audi.

Kane told responding officers she was a designated driver, but surveillance video showed Kane herself had been drinking alcohol at a Scranton restaurant shortly before the crash, according to an affidavit.

Kane had watery, bloodshot eyes and slurred her words — police said she had trouble saying the word “designated” — and failed a field sobriety test, the documents said.

Kane was charged with drunken driving and careless driving. Four days later, a Montgomery County judge issued a bench warrant for her arrest.

The state’s former top prosecutor also faces a May 26 hearing on the drunken driving charge.

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