January 13, 2016

Key Points From Special Committee On Senate Address Hearing On Removing Kane

Here are some key points brought out by testimony before the  Special Committee On Senate Address on whether Kathleen Kane should be removed as Attorney General because she has a suspended law license--
-- Gov. Rendell: Was not testifying to support Kane or anyone’s position as indicated by Kane’s letter to the Committee, but on the “interesting” legal question of whether an Attorney General can do her job with a suspended law license.
-- Gov. Rendell: Do not act on removing Kane before a new PA Supreme Court acts on Kane request to reinstate her law license.
-- Gov. Rendell: Contradicting Kane, says Senate does have the authority to remove Kane, but urges the Senate and House use impeachment if they are not happy with her conduct.
-- Gov. Rendell: Contradicting Kane, said she should take a leave of absence until the charges are resolved.
-- Kane Chief Of Staff Jonathan Duecker provided two and a half hours of testimony and answering questions: Kane has been an “incredible” leader and without question remains in charge of the office.
-- Duecker: “While there is no accurate way to characterize what part of the Attorney General’s roles and responsibilities are legal and non-legal in nature, it is clear that most of them are non-legal.”
-- Duecker: “When the PA Supreme Court suspended General Kane’s law license, it specifically stated that the suspension was not intended to remove her from office, a distinction that clearly demonstrates that the Supreme Court understands her vast responsibilities outside of the practice of law.”
--  Duecker: To his knowledge, Kane has not supervised attorneys since her suspension.
-- Duecker: Does not know Kane’s day-to-day schedule and cannot recount when she comes to the office.  “I’m not privy to her calendar.  I don’t know what her schedule is outside meetings I have with her.”
-- Duecker: In response to a question, he did not know if Kane signed off on the $2 billion line of credit from the State Treasurer as the law requires the Attorney General to do.
-- Both Rendell and Duecker said someone did not need to be a lawyer to do most of the tasks that make up the Attorney General’s job which involves administrative and policy decisions, [except that the law requires it].
The Special Committee On Senate Address will issue a report and recommendation within 15 days.
Visit Here to watch a video of the hearing.  Click Here for a copy of Kane’s response to the hearing.  Click Here for a copy of Jonathan Duecker’s written testimony.