Lawyers for former state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane are asking a Montgomery County judge to sentence her to probation for perjury and other crimes.
“She rose from poverty to a pinnacle, and she has already fallen,” lawyer Marc Steinberg wrote in a 107-page memo filed Tuesday. It includes 29 letters of support from Kane’s family members, friends and former colleagues.
Kane, 50, is scheduled to be sentenced in Norristown on Monday before Common Pleas Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy after a jury convicted her in August of perjury, official obstruction and other crimes.
The jury found her guilty of orchestrating an illegal leak of secret grand-jury materials and then lying about it under oath. Kane resigned two days after she was convicted.
Prosecutors have asked Demchick-Alloy to impose a “significant and stiff” prison term for Kane, arguing that she has shown no remorse since her conviction. They cited an interview with pre-sentencing investigators in which she said she was doing the job she was elected to do and made “a 30 second decision” that led to her conviction.
Steinberg, meanwhile, also asked last week for Kane to be evaluated as a candidate for house arrest. The judge ordered an evaluation – a move that District Attorney Kevin Steele has opposed.
In his request Tuesday for probation rather than prison time, Steinberg detailed her life and rise from the child of working-class parents in Scranton to become the first woman to serve as Pennsylvania’s attorney general.
A prison sentence, her lawyers said, would take her away from her teenage sons, Christopher and Zachary. Kane shares custody with her husband, from whom she has filed for divorce.
“Christopher, Zachary, and Kathleen have a very special bond,” Kane’s mother, Ellen Gordon, told the judge in a handwritten letter. “They rely on her solely to keep them safe and share with her their thoughts and fears. … I live in total fear of the effect being separated from Kathleen will have on them.”
Prosecutors have noted Kane’s crimes carry a potential maximum term of 12 to 24 years in prison, Steinberg suggested that probation would be sufficient for Kane.
“She has been humbled and embarrassed,” he wrote, “and now just wants to make amends and focus her attention on raising her children.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer