PA Senate votes against removing Kathleen Kane as Attorney General

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HARRISBURG, Pa--  By a vote of 29-19, the Pa. Senate  fails to remove Kathleen Kane as Attorney General. The vote fell largely along party lines.

Senator Jay Costa (D) , Senate Minority Leader, said, "We have more important things we should be talking about." While Senator Joseph Scarnati (R) said, "The Senate had in its grasp the chance to do something about corruption in Pennsylvania."

The direct removal process was launched in November to determine if Kane, or any attorney general, is able to perform their job without a law license after hers was suspended by the state Supreme Court. A two-thirds vote by the Senate would allow Gov. Wolf to remove her as attorney general.

"We're setting precedent here, one way or another," Corman said. "This is not a light issue. Removing someone from office is a significant thing to do. It has to have an extreme circumstance and this circumstance is one issue; can she function without a law license?"

The Senate committee designed to investigate Kane's ability to fulfill her duties as attorney general without a license decided to move forward with the direct removal proceedings after the state Supreme Court ruled Friday she would not have her license reinstated.

The direct removal process has not been used since 1891, when it failed to remove a state treasurer and auditor general involved in a bribery case.

Pennsylvania has not impeached an elected official since 1993, when Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larson was removed from the bench.

Kane released the following statement on Wednesday's Senate vote:

"Today is a good day for all those who share my desire to restore confidence in our judges and prosecutors and integrity to our system of justice. Special Prosecutor Gansler will press on, leaving no hate-filled email unread and no ex parte communication uncovered, in our effort to deliver to all Pennsylvanians, the system of justice we deserve rather than the one we now have. I am happy to continue this effort, finish the mission I pledged to carry out and the job for which I was elected to serve."

 

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