UPDATED: 1:34 p.m. EDT – The Morning Call correspondent, Steve Esack, announced on Twitter Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will resign following her guilty conviction on nine criminal charges.
The former prosecutor is expected to step down from her post on Wednesday.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also confirmed Kane's resignation, writing in a statement:
"What has transpired with Attorney General Kane is unfortunate. Her decision to resign is the right one, and will allow the people of Pennsylvania to finally move on from this situation.
“I have full faith and confidence in the employees of the Office of the Attorney General and know that they will continue to perform its most important functions including protecting consumers and prosecuting criminals. Moving forward, I will work with both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate regarding any potential appointment of an Attorney General.”
Kathleen G. Kane, the attorney general of Pennsylvania, is now a convicted criminal. According to the New York Times, the 50-year-old Kane was found guilty Monday on nine criminal charges, including two felony counts of perjury and criminal conspiracy, after it was discovered she not only leaked grand jury information but later lied about it to discredit a political rival.
Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, has yet to set a prison sentence, but it is possible Kane will face prison time, especially since felony perjury charges can carry up to a seven year sentence. However, Kane was set free on bail with the threat of immediate incarceration should she attempted to retaliate against any witnesses.
“There is to be absolutely no retaliation of any kind against any witness in this case, either by your own devices, from your own mouth or your hand, or directing anybody to do anything,” warned Judge Demchick-Alloy.
While the verdict has been “a crushing blow,” according to Kane’s defense attorney Gerald Shargel, he said that Kane’s team aren’t giving up on her just yet, CNN reported.
“We will continue this litigation, we will continue this fight, because we believe that our client has been wrongfully accused of misconduct,” he said.
Prosecutors, however, were very pleased with the turn out.
“We are a very honorable profession here. We have rules that we have to abide by and there are no exceptions to that,” prosecutor Kevin Steele said, adding that the prosecution team were vying for prison time for Kane. “Everything is on the table.”
Criminal charges were filed against Kane in August 2015 after she was accused of dismissing an investigation into politicians accepting bribes. She was later alleged of leaking sealed, confidential grand jury documents regarding the 2009 investigation of former N.AA.C.P. leader J. Whyatt Mondesire financial affairs to the media as a ploy to discredit prosecutor Frank Fina, who she claimed had chosen not to prosecute Mondesire. She then lied under oath about leaking the documents when questioned by a judge.
According to Kane, a campaign of “political retribution had been launched” at her — the leak accusations were just another string of lies being spawn against her by enemies. She even cited a series of “pornographic, racial and religiously offensive emails” she had received from the office of former Attorney General Tom Corbett as an example of the heat she was facing while holding the Attorney General position. However, state court Judge William Carpenter denied requests to release the emails at the time.
Upon her conviction, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who called for her resignation when charges were first filed against Kane, repeated the need for her to step down again, saying, “The Office of Attorney General and its employees, as well as the people of Pennsylvania deserve to move on.”
"As I have made clear, I do not believe Kathleen Kane should be Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I believed this when she was charged, and today, after conviction, there should be no question that she should resign immediately," Wolf said in a statement.
The scandal hasn’t just cost Kane her position as Attorney General, though. She’s also lost her law license while other state officials, including two State Supreme Court Justices, have been removed from their positions.