Porngate, Kathleen Kane, and the Power of Resolve

Posted By: Tony Baratta | February 11th, 2016

Every day I read something new in the newspaper about Kathleen Kane (Pennsylvania’s elected Attorney General).  Today the article I read addressed how she avoided a Senate vote to remove her from office.  The State Constitution allows the Governor to remove her from office if 2/3rds of the Senate vote to do so.

 This, however, is a lone victory amongst numerous dramatic setbacks including:

1. Being arrested, charged, and set for trial (August 2016) for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information in an effort to embarrass a political rival and then lying about it to a grand jury.

2. Having her Law License pulled by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year.

3. The PA House of Representatives has now approved a proposal to impeach her through first their investigation and then a trial in the Senate.

 4. The reputational fallout from the publicity of refusing to prosecute several black politicians who had agreed to accept money or gifts, all taped by a secret informant, because she believed the investigations were racially biased.  She challenged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to take on the prosecutions IF ….. He Thought He Could, and HE DID, successfully to her further embarrassment.

5. The failure to find any evidence to support her election promise to expose that her predecessor in office, Corbett, intentionally delayed the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky while he was running for governor.

6. And she is enduring all of these problems while at the same time going through a divorce.

Each time I read these articles, I wonder how she could possibly endure and continue to fight.  Why does she simply not give up?  The pressure would seem to be overwhelming. 

What amazes me is her resolve.

Kathleen Kane regularly fights back by arguing that the actions taken against her are in effort to stymie the exposure, or pay her back for exposing, the pornographic emails exchanged amongst members of her office and the judiciary that she found in performing the inter-office Sandusky-delay investigation. 

This revelation has already caused the resignation of one Pa Supreme Court Justice, Seamus McCaffery, and the suspension of another, Michael Eakin, until an Ethics Hearing in March.  The exposure has produced resignations of lawyers in the Attorney General Office and demotions of high ranking lawyers in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

I like fighters.  I like underdogs.  It’s why I love what I do-fighting for the little guy against those with power and money.  The facts have not fully played out in the Kathleen Kane drama.  It may turn out that she has committed the criminal actions that are accused.  But, regardless, I admire her fighting spirit, and her outspoken courage, traits that I think are rare these days. 

Tony Baratta is a trial attorney in Huntingdon Valley, PA who represents clients who have been seriously injured including due to medical mistakes. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and on the board for the Philadelphia VIP. Tony is a Nationally Certified Civil Trial Advocate, AV Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel and a member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA).  He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys and voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers 2008-2015.

About the Author

Tony Baratta is a trial attorney in Huntingdon Valley, PA who represents clients who have been seriously injured. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and a member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). Tony is on the board for the Philadelphia VIP, member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys, voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers for the past 13 years and 2018 recipient of the First Judicial District Pro Bono Award for the Civil Trial Division.

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