State House Sound Bites

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

AG's office looks to move past Kane

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 17, 2016 7:36 PM
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Kane is leaving office early, following a felony conviction that capped a tumultuous term as state Attorney General. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- With Kathleen Kane stepping down as state Attorney General after her felony conviction, focus is now turning to how to repair the public's faith in the scandal-ridden office.

Kane's former first deputy Bruce Castor is taking over the AG duties for the time-being.

He said his first priority is to move the office forward.

"It's what I've been trying to address since I got here, and that's restore confidence in the public in the work that the office of the Attorney General does," Castor said.

Castor could technically serve until a newly elected AG takes office in January. But Governor Tom Wolf may also choose to elect a new interim attorney general.

Bruce Ledewitz, a law professor at Dusquene University, said if the public is going to trust the office again, Castor needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

"He's obviously her man, and obviously cannot begin the process of healing," Ledewitz said. "And I'm sure that's how the legislature and the governor will look at it, and I'm sure they'll try to put in an interim person, even for a few months."

Castor was handpicked by Kane in March. Because Kane's legal license was suspended, he handled much of the office's legal work.

Wolf hasn't yet announced any plans to appoint an interim AG to replace Castor.

Ledewitz added that whenever a new AG does take over, it shouldn't take long to restore a sense of normalcy inside the office.

But he said fixing the public's perception will be tougher.

"The problem is, the people of Pennsylvania have been burned so often that the task of winning [them] back...will take a lot longer, if it can be done at all," he said.

Voters will select a new attorney general in November.

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