State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Cost of special investigation into objectionable emails? $67,000

Written by Mary Wilson | Mar 1, 2016 4:46 AM

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaks during a news conference in Scranton, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

(Harrisburg) -- The special investigation into pornographic and objectionable e-mails has cost the state about $67,000 so far.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane answered state House lawmakers' questions about the probe during budget hearings.

It began in December, when Kane appointed a special prosecutor and hired a law firm to examine the e-mails and any impropriety among judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and others.

Republican Representative Marguerite Quinn of Bucks County cast doubt on the purpose of the probe.

"It sounds to me like there's an awful lot of money that's been expended that can and will continue to be expended and I'm not convinced yet that we're going after criminal activity as opposed to naughty activity," she said.

The cost of the investigation is capped at $2 million. 

But, Quinn questioned whether that cap can hold.

"It's a lot of money when there's need all over," she told Kane. "I don't believe a cap was put in without an expectation of coming near it."

Kane said the two would have to agree to disagree.

The attorney general defended the probe as a necessary examination of the state's criminal justice system.

Kane initiatedthe investigation a year-and-a-half after her office discovered the raunchy e-mails.

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