NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane was found guilty Monday night of a series of crimes relating to a 2014 grand jury leak.
A Montgomery County jury convicted Kane of perjury, false swearing, obstruction, conspiracy, and official oppression. The six-man, six-woman jury needed just four and a half hours of deliberation after more than a week of testimony and arguments.
Kane, 50, showed no visible emotion when the verdict was read. None of her family, which joined her in the courtroom every day of the trial, with the exception of her twin sister, was there for the verdict reading. Kane did not appear to address the jury during the verdict, only looking at them when her lead attorney, Gerald Shargel, polled each individual juror.
"Today is a sad day for the Commonwealth," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said following the verdict. "It seemed she thought she was somebody who was above the law. That's not the case because no one is above the law, and 12 people came in here and showed otherwise."
Kane was the first female and Democrat elected Attorney General in Pennsylvania since it became an elected position in 1980. She is the first attorney general since Ernie Preate in 1995 to be convicted of a crime while in office. Preate was charged with federal racketeering and corruption and pleaded guilty to mail fraud. He served a year in federal prison.
Now that she has been convicted, Kane must resign as attorney general, but not until she is sentenced. Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy said sentencing will take place in the next 90 days.
"There are great men and women who work in the Office of the Attorney General," said Michelle Henry, the Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney. "They have had to suffer what this defendant has done, not just to them, but to the citizens of the Commonwealth."
Kane's attorney, Shargel, indicated the jury's decision would be appealed. He hinted at an unfair trial, given numerous pretrial motions to eliminate items of evidence. Most notably, Jude Demchick-Alloy decided less than a week before the trial was set to begin, Kane's team would not be allowed to use the "Porngate" e-mail scandal as part of her defense.
Shargel and his team called no witnesses during the trial.
"We're doing everything we can, and I intend to stay right here," Shargel said after the defeat. "We will keep fighting and keep litigating."
Prior to leaving the court after the verdict, Kane was told by Judge Demchick-Alloy she must surrender her passport before noon Tuesday. The judge also indicated any form of retaliation against any of the prosecution's witnesses would be met with immediate jail time.
Judge Demchick-Alloy also told Kane the court took notice of no one one "minding the store" when she left for Haiti in April 2014 without putting a successor in place while she was out of the country.
Kane's second in command, Solicitor General Bruce Castor, is expected to hold a press conference at the attorney general's office Tuesday at 1 p.m.