Pennsylvania

Kathleen Kane defends handling of Philadelphia lawmakers probe

Kane defends handling of Philadelphia lawmakers probe

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is on the defensive following a newspaper probe that's put her on the hot seat.

Kane and her office are under fire for dismissing a three-year investigation into the public corruption investigation.

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the Democrat's decision to terminate the investigation into whether some state lawmakers accepted illegal payments.

According to the report, an undercover sting was started under Republican and then-Attorney General Tom Corbett in 2010.

The ploy used a confidential informant over a three-year span who collected more than 100 recordings.

It suggested some Philadelphia Democratic state lawmakers had accepted cash bribes from the informant.

Kane held a news conference on Monday to defend her decision.

"Whether this case was prosecutable or not--and we determined it was not," said Kane, who decided not to move forward with the case after she said a review by, state, federal and local authorities found it wasn't prosecutable.

Kane called the undercover operation stale and flawed. She also said it lacked solid evidence and credibility.

"This case was done very poorly. There was very poor management of the CI, poor reporting, a lack of investigative tools that we all use all the time," Kane said.

She also alluded to entrapment, claiming the sting was initiated without "reasonable suspicion."

Kane also noted possible racial targeting as another weakness in the case.

"That certainly taints the case among the other factors we have indicated," Kane said.

But critics said her decision stems from a political agenda to defend fellow Democrats. Kane was quick to denounce that.

"It is loud and clear we make no decision made on political parties. Of the 11 public corruption cases we brought about the last 14 months I have been in office, 10 involve Democrats," Kane said.

Gov. Corbett isn't commenting on the case.


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