Report Details Officials’ Emails Discovered During Kathleen Kane’s Tenure
The emails found on government computers were by turns pornographic, racist and homophobic, and their piecemeal release, beginning in 2014, by Kathleen G. Kane, then the attorney general of Pennsylvania, sent two State Supreme Court justices and an assortment of other officials packing amid suspicions of overly cozy relationships between judges and prosecutors in the state.
Ms. Kane, by then embroiled in scandal herself, late last year hired an outside investigator, Douglas F. Gansler, to comb through the whole trove and see what else was there.
And even as Ms. Kane — who in August was convicted on criminal conspiracy and other charges and sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison after illegally leaking grand jury records — took her own spectacular fall from grace, the investigation lingered as an unwritten coda to her stormy tenure. Would it be a swipe from the political ashes, revealing more offensive conduct by the “old boys’ network” she had come into office swearing to puncture?
The answer came on Tuesday in the form of a 50-page report: Yes, there were more inappropriate emails sent by current and retired state officials — nearly 12,000 in all — including obscene photographs and a racist joke about the first lady, Michelle Obama. Thirteen high-ranking officials, including three more judges, were found to have offensive material, and 38 more people were found to be “high-volume” senders of offensive or explicit content.
“These communications demonstrate a fundamental and dangerous degree of impropriety that threatens public confidence in a fair and unbiased law enforcement and judicial system, and impartial governance more generally,” wrote Mr. Gansler, who did not recommend criminal charges.
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