Grand jury recommends charges against Kane for leaking secrets

Grand jury recommends charges against Kane for leaking secrets

Attorney General Kathleen Kane may face criminal charges for leaking secrets from an investigation to the media based on a grand jury presentment released Thursday.

Kane, a Democrat serving her first term as the Commonwealth’s top legal officer, did not respond to requests for comment by press-time.

Her defense attorney Lanny Davis told the Inquirer Kane did “nothing wrong or illegal.”

The statewide grand jury was convened last year in Norristown by judicial order to investigate the release to the Philadelphia Daily News of details concerning the investigation into J. Whyatt Mondesire, the former head of the Philadephia branch of the NAACP, over suspected financial wrongdoing.

The secret proceeding was discovered and reported by the Inquirer.

Mondesire had never been officially charged or named as a suspect by the 2009 investigation which the Daily News reported on in June 2014, reportedly quoting heavily from an internal memo on the case.

Kane acknowledged leaking the memo to the press but denied committing a crime.

The judge who presided over the grand jury investigating Mondesire, William Carpenter of Montgomery County, ordered the investigation into Kane, according to the Inquirer.

Montgomery County D.A. Risa Vetri Ferman will now review the presentment and has the discretion to act on the case and arrest or charge Kane, the Inquirer reported.

Ferman was not available for comment.

Kane earlier called this investigation a political attack. The judges who ordered and approved the investigation, as well as the special prosecutor handling the grand jury, are all Republicans.

Kane recently released a trove of pornographic emails exchanged by state officials while in office, leading to resignations including that of Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

Kane came under heavy criticism last year after reports emerged that she had shut down a political corruption sting that caught five Philadelphia Democrats accepting cash or illegal gifts in return for promised favors without filing charges.

D.A. Seth Williams took the case and state rep. Ronald Waters, state rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown and former Traffic Court Presiding Judge Thomasine Tynes, all now face criminal charges.