Kathleen Kane has more trouble on her hands.
It’s been a quiet few months for the controversial Pennsylvania attorney general, but an old scandal is coming back to haunt her anew. The Inquirer reports a special prosecutor is investigating whether her office leaked secret grand jury material to a newspaper — and did so to make at least one of Kane’s high-profile critics look bad.
What was leaked? Secret records involving a 2009 investigation of then Philly NAACP leader Jerry Mondesire, who has been suspended from that post by the national office amid a steady stream of reporting about irregularities in his finances. No charges were brought from the A.G.’s investigation, and Mondesire has denied wrongdoing.
Why was it leaked? According to the Inquirer, a June Daily News story using the leak as a source questioned whether former Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina had investigated Mondesire with enough vigor. Fina and Kane, of course, have been at loggerheads over Kane’s decision to abandon a sting operation that recorded up to five Philly Democrats taking unreported cash gifts from a confidential informant. Fina now works for Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams.
So what happens if somebody is caught and convicted of leaking? The Inky says, “A person who violates grand jury secrecy rules may be found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to up to six months in prison.”
What’s next? Unsure. The Inquirer reports the “special prosecutor has issued several subpoenas to Kane’s office and others” but no timeline for the investigation has been given.