Kane Loses Challenge, Ferman May Investigate Further
[UPDATE, 10:55 a.m.] Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has released a statement on her intention to review the findings of the investigating grand jury, and possibly conduct further investigation. Her office will review special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio’s “report relating to Attorney General Kathleen Kane and the voluminous information gathered by the Thirty-Fifth Statewide Investigating Grand Jury,” and “[s]hould further investigation be warranted, the District Attorney’s Office and Detective Bureau will undertake such independent investigation as necessary.”
After all of that, Vetri Ferman says her office will “review the applicable laws and make determinations as to whether criminal charges are warranted against any individual.”
In other words, this could take a while. Stay tuned.
[ORIGINAL, 6:08 a.m.] Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Tuesday lost her attempt to quash a grand jury’s investigation of her, opening the possibility that she’ll soon face criminal charges for leaking confidential information to a Philadelphia newspaper.
Nearly a year after an investigation was launched into alleged grand jury leaks from Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the state Supreme Court has ruled that a judge had the authority to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.
The Supreme Court’s 4-1 ruling leaves open the possibility of charges being pursued against her.
“We follow the approach of the United States Supreme Court and the many other jurisdictions which have found such appointments proper as an essential means to vindicate the courts’ own authority,” wrote Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, in his opinion.
The case goes back to Risa Vetri Ferman, the Montgomery County district attorney: She must now decide whether to bring charges against Kane, recommended by a grand jury in the leak case. Ferman did not comment publicly on Tuesday.
PennLive, in a separate story, reports:
The decision effectively put the fate of the state’s top prosecutor in Ferman’s hands and shifted the media spotlight onto the Republican running for a county judgeship.
“The public and political pressure, as a Republican, will be for her to go forward unless it’s clear in her mind it’s a losing case,” said Chris Borick, a Muhlenberg College political science professor. “If she came away with a decision not to press charges, she’ll need to make a strong case for why she didn’t.”
“On the other hand,” said Bruce Ledewitz, a Duquesne University law professor, “if she goes forward, she’ll be judged–like all prosecutors–on whether she gets a conviction.”
As the Inquirer has reported, the grand jury investigation “found that Kane ignored warnings from her own aides and provided the Philadelphia Daily News with grand jury information she believed would embarrass a critic, former state prosecutor Frank Fina.”