News

Chorus of calls for AG Kathleen Kane to step down

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 7, 2015 5:31 AM
Kane_charges13.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, second right, speaks during a news conference Thursday, in Norristown. Attorney General Kathleen Kane was charged with leaking secret grand jury information and lying about her actions under oath

(Harrisburg) -- Once thought to be a rising star among Pennsylvania Democrats, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane is now fighting charges of violating grand jury secrecy laws and lying about her actions under oath.

Kane says she has done nothing wrong and will not resign.

But several state officials are calling for her to step down, including many of her fellow Democrats.

Among them are Governor Tom Wolf, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and state Senator Rob Teplitz of Dauphin County.

Teplitz is co-chair of the House-Senate Government Reform Caucus.

"This is about the Office of Attorney General, not about the individual who's there or what their party affiliation would be," he says.

Jennifer Kocher, a spokeswoman for Senate Republicans, says the caucus is not calling for Kane's resignation.

"This is a decision that she has to make and her abilities to do this," she says. "Do we necessarily believe that she can be an effective prosecutor, while facing prosecution? No, but it's a decision that she has to come to."

If Kane does resign, the process of choosing a successor is spelled out clearly in state law. 

The Commonwealth Attorneys Act leaves the decision up to the governor and the state Senate.

The law says any successor must be nominated by the governor and approved by two-thirds of the 50 members of the Senate.

If Kane does step down, her first deputy, Bruce Beemer, would automatically take over as interim attorney general.  

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