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Kathleen Kane defends herself after harsh criticism for dropped investigation

Updated: Monday, March 17 2014, 05:43 PM CDT
Written by: Chris Papst

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is coming under pressure.  Some question why she shut down a criminal investigation that caught some state lawmakers accepting bribes on tape.  On Monday, she lashed out at her critics who say it was political because everyone involved is a Democrat.  

Kane believes the state has evidence that at least four state lawmakers illegally took money from a lobbyist, but she said she can’t prosecute it.

In 2010, The PA Attorney General's Office, under Tom Corbett, opened an undercover investigation that caught eight officials from Philadelphia accepting money – on tape.  All are Democrats, include four state lawmakers.  The state used a lobbyist as an informant who offered cash and jewelry. 

 "This case was dead before I ever got there. Dead,” explained Kane.

With Kathleen Kane in office the investigation has been shut down.

"I believe we have evidence that certain legislatures were taking money and that's a crime,” added Kane.

But despite having that evidence, Kane said she can’t bring charges.  Monday, the AG defended her decision claiming the initial investigation was flawed and poorly managed.  She added, the credibility of the state’s lone informant was weak and the targets of the investigation were possibly racially motivated. 

Kane admits more than $20,000 changed hands.  During her press conference, CBS 21 asked where that money came from.  "It was taxpayer money. The only way we could authorize it to come back to the state or force it to come back to the state would be through a restitution agreement and that would have to be through a guilty plea or a guilty verdict."

But taxpayers won’t get the money back because Kane will not reopen the investigation.  "We made the correct decision,” stated Kane.  “I would make the same decision all over again, and again, and again despite the criticism we received over the last couple of days.”

Kane said Dauphin County DA Ed Marsico and federal authorities reviewed the case and both decided not to take it.  We did reach out to Governor Tom Corbett’s Office for comment, but did not receive one.
Kathleen Kane defends herself after harsh criticism for dropped investigation


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