Pennsylvania attorney general to discuss future of office




SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's embattled attorney general summoned reporters to Scranton for an announcement about the future of her office on Tuesday, hours before a deadline to submit signatures to make the primary ballot.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane revealed little about the substance of what she will say at the afternoon news conference, coming about a week after she narrowly survived a Senate vote to remove her from the office she has held since 2013.

Kane, a Democrat, has been collecting signatures to get onto the April 26 ballot in a race that could include three others — Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and two district attorneys, Stephen Zappala in Allegheny County and John Morganelli in Northampton. Two Republicans are also trying to make the ballot.

Candidates for attorney general must collect 1,000 valid signatures in all, including at least 100 from each of five counties. There have been scant indications so far that Kane has been raising money or putting together a campaign team, and she faces stiff resistance from within her own party, including calls by Gov. Tom Wolf and others for her to resign.

Kane was charged by prosecutors in suburban Philadelphia in August with perjury and other offenses for allegedly leaking secret grand jury material to a reporter and lying about it. Her trial is scheduled for this summer. She has denied the allegations, saying she has been targeted by an old boys club that was threatened by her work to expose the exchange of obscene and objectionable emails by employees of her agency, judges and others.

The state Supreme Court suspended her law license as of October and recently rejected her request to reinstate it.

The state House voted last week to empower a committee to look into her impeachment, a process expected to play out in the coming months.

Kane has not been generally available to reporters, although she did tell a TV station last week that Pennsylvania politics is "a disease" that "needs to be cut out."

The email scandal has resulted in dozens of people in government being disciplined or fired, the abrupt retirement in 2014 of one Supreme Court justice, Seamus McCaffery, and pending ethics charges against another, Michael Eakin. The emails disclosed so far include nudity, sex acts and content that is derogatory toward women, gays and ethnic and religious groups.

Kane is paying a team led by Doug Gansler, a former Maryland state attorney general, to review millions of messages and make a public report about what they contain.
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