November 25, 2015

Senate Committee Recommends Full Investigation Of AG Kane, Kane Reaction

The Special Committee on Senate Address Wednesday voted 5 to 2 to approve a report recommending the full Senate proceed with a hearing on whether or not indicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane can fulfill her duties with a suspended law license.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) has asked Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia), Chair of the Committee, to work with Committee members to draft a resolution within 15 days describing how the Senate should move forward with its investigation.
The Senate would then vote to on whether to move ahead in the process.  Any vote to remove Kane from office would happen after its investigation and would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate.
Democratic Senators Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia) voted against the report.  Sen. Sean Wiley (D-Erie) voted with the majority.
The Committee voted unanimously on the question of whether the Committee had jurisdiction in the matter.
Kane Reaction
Indicted Attorney General Kane responded to the Committee report by saying she would challenge the constitutionality of the action.
"Today, a handful of senators sought to substitute their judgment for that of more than 3 million Pennsylvanians who cast their vote for the duly elected, independent Attorney General. I believe this attempt to remove the Attorney General from office is unconstitutional and intend to vigorously defend the Office of Attorney General against any and all future efforts by this committee or the Senate as a whole,” Kane said.
Kane also said she would appoint a team of prosecutors Tuesday to investigate the exchange of pornographic and other offensive emails between various state employees and criminal justice officials.
"I will outline the prosecutorial powers that these special prosecutors will have to identify any violations of the criminal, civil and ethics laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Kane said, adding that she would call upon the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.
Drew Crompton, chief of staff to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said "we will defend" the Senate's jurisdiction in the matter in whatever court Kane files a challenge.
For more information and a copy of the report, visit the Special Committee on Senate Address website.
Editorial: Senate Should Move Quickly On Kane Report