Kane Won’t Sue Inky After All

PA attorney general no longer represented by Richard Sprague.

AP Photo | Bradley C. Bower

AP Photo | Bradley C. Bower

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has apparently dropped the idea of suing the Philadelphia Inquirer for its articles about her decision to abandon an investigation that had caught Philly Democrats on tape accepting cash payments. She had hired famed and feared Philly litigator Richard Sprague after the article ran, bringing him to a meeting at the Inky where he refused to let her talk.

The Morning Call reports that Kane has since abandoned the notion of a lawsuit:

Kane said Sprague accompanied her because she thought there was a potential defamation lawsuit. But Kane said she has not pursued the matter further and is no longer represented by Sprague.

The news was part of a much longer examination by the Morning Call of Kane’s time in office, examining how her star has fallen in recent months:

Her office has been humiliated by poorly executed criminal cases that have been tossed out by courts. Kane’s verbal blunders and public disagreements with high ranking officials, including the state police commissioner and the Philadelphia district attorney, threaten to undermine her effectiveness, according to several current and former prosecutors interviewed by The Morning Call.

“It is impossible not to conclude that Attorney General Kane has lost a lot of the political capital she came into office with,” said Republican Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., a former district attorney who ran for attorney general in 2004. “It has been squandered.”

Kane says she’s had more successes than she’s given credit for:

Kane said her office has done good work. Her civil division won a partial court battle against Big Tobacco that saved the state $120 million in an arbitration lawsuit and it also helped broker a settlement in a contentious fight between two western Pennsylvania health-care giants — insurance provider Highmark and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. UPMC had refused to renew its contract to provide care for Highmark members after the insurance company contracted with a competing non-profit hospital system.

“If you feel my administration has made mistakes, that’s certainly your prerogative,” Kane said. “But I will tell you we try our best, we work very hard. I’m a hard worker. My staff are hard workers. Do we ever do everything perfect? Probably not. Do we do things that upset people? Sure we do. No doubt about that.”

The Morning Call profile is worth reading in its entirety.