State House Sound Bites

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

Kane is out; first deputy taking over in interim

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 16, 2016 11:36 PM

Bruce Castor speaks at a press conference following Kane's resignation; he will take over the AG's duties in the interim. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is leaving office at the end of the day Wednesday following a felony conviction for perjury, as well as conviction of several misdemeanors.

Kane, a first-term Democrat, was charged with illegally leaking secret grand jury documents to embarrass a political opponent, then lying about it under oath.

Kane's first deputy, Bruce Castor, will be assuming her responsibilities.

Castor was hand-picked by Kane to serve as Solicitor General in March, and has served as first deputy since last month.

The former Montgomery County District Attorney has been functionally running the AG's office for the last several months--Kane's law license was suspended in September.

He said he has a few clear goals he wants to address when he assumes Kane's role.

"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, restore morale in the ranks of the Attorney General," he said.

Castor also noted that though he has worked closely with Kane, he has always operated independently.

"I'm going to make such decisions as I think are best for the office," he said. "I don't make decisions out of revenge. I make decisions out of ability and loyalty and competence."

Kane's term would have ended in January, and Castor said he is prepared to serve until then.

Governor Tom Wolf does have the power to nominate a replacement before the term ends, however. If that happens, the nominee would need to be confirmed by a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

A spokesman says no decisions have been made yet.

Kane stepped down amid intense pressure from Wolf and state lawmakers. Wolf said in a statement that her decision "is the right one, and will allow the people of Pennsylvania to finally move on from this situation."

Her sentencing is set for October 24.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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