Kathleen Kane

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This article is about the Pennsylvania politician. For the pseudonymous author Kathleen Kane, see Maureen Child.
Kathleen Kane
Kathleen Kane AG cropped.jpg
48th Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 15, 2013
Governor Tom Corbett
Preceded by Linda Kelly
Personal details
Born Kathleen Margaret Granahan
(1966-06-14) June 14, 1966 (age 48)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Chris Kane
Children 2
Alma mater University of Scranton
Temple University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Government website

Kathleen Margaret Granahan Kane (born June 14, 1966)[1] is an American lawyer and politician who is the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.[2] She is the first woman and the first Democrat ever elected to the position (though both women and Democrats had held the office before it became elective in 1980).[3][4][5]


Kane received a Bachelor of Science degree in international studies from the University of Scranton in 1988 and law degree from Temple University Law School in 1993.[6]

Early career[edit]

Kane was an attorney at Post & Schell P.C., a Philadelphia law firm, from 1991 to 1995[citation needed] and handled civil cases.[7][8] From 1995 to 2007, she served as an assistant district attorney for Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, where she prosecuted hundreds of sex-abuse, elder abuse, murder, assault, rape, public corruption, and fraud cases.[6][7][8][9] In 2007, Kane worked for a private law firm in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and took a position with the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.[6][9]

Pennsylvania Attorney General[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Kane announced her candidacy for Pennsylvania Attorney General in the 2012 election. She received endorsements from U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Philadelphia Inquirer during the Democratic primary.[8][9] Her primary opponent, former U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy, was endorsed by former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[9] Kane defeated Murphy 53% to 47%.[4] In the general election, Kane won by 14.5 percent over Cumberland County district attorney David Freed[10] who ran unopposed in the Republican primary.[6] The win made Kane the first woman elected State Attorney General in Pennsylvania,[Note 1] and the first Democrat elected to the position since it ceased being an appointed office in 1980.[3]

Since taking office, Kane has appointed former federal prosecutor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. to investigate Governor Tom Corbett's handling of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal (an investigation which showed that no wrongdoing by Corbett took place), and brought criminal charges against former turnpike officials (and then dealt plea bargains with the accused parties, which resulted in none of the accused serving any jail time).

In July 2013, Kane made national headlines when she refused to defend Pennsylvania's gay-marriage prohibition in court, calling it "wholly unconstitutional."[11]

On March 17, 2014, AG Kane announced that she had shut down a corruption investigation begun under her predecessor, saying that "the undercover investigation was poorly managed and badly executed, and relied on an undercover operative whose credibility had been compromised." The investigation was following up on reports of corruption among current Philadelphia politicians, all of the suspects belonged to Kane's Democratic Party. In response, the Committee of Seventy called on the state legislature to designate an independent counsel to investigate the closing of the case.[12][13] Local prosecutors in Philadelphia picked up the case, and secured a number of guilty pleas as well as grand jury indictments related to the case.

Kane drew negative comments from women's groups when she suggested that a former state employee who was raped in 2013 while working as a clerk typist in a state prison may be responsible for her own rape.[14][15][16][17] The 24-year-old victim was choked unconscious and raped for 27 minutes by an inmate who had been convicted three times previously of sex-related crimes, and then been transferred from a different state prison for assaulting a female assistant there.[16]


A grand jury has been investigating the leaking of two memos, allegedly from Kane's office: one from a 2009 grand jury investigation, and an internal memo leaked to the Philadelphia Daily News in 2014 that outlined details of the 2009 investigation.[18]

On January 21, 2015, it was made public that the grand jury recommended criminal charges related to these leaks against Kane for "perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction of law.".[18]

2016 election[edit]

Kane was mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 U.S. Senate election against Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.[19][20] However, Kane declined to run, instead announcing that she would seek a second term as Attorney General in 2016.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Kane resided in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, with her husband Chris Kane, an executive and co-owner in his family's trucking and warehouse company.[9] The couple has two sons.[6] In October 2014, she suffered a concussion in a car accident. She filed for divorce in Family Court in Lackawanna County, PA, on December 26, 2014.[23]

Electoral history[edit]

Pennsylvania Attorney General election, 2012, Democratic Primary[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Kathleen Kane 371,862 52.8
Democratic Patrick Murphy 331,778 47.2
Turnout 703,640
Pennsylvania Attorney General election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kathleen Kane 3,073,007 56.1
Republican David Freed 2,280,989 41.6
Libertarian Marakay Rogers 126,534 2.3
Total votes 5,480,530 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ Two women, Anne Alpern and Linda Kelly, were previously appointed to the position.


  1. ^ Baer, John (January 15, 2013). "New A.G. Kane has a lot on her plate". Philadelphia Daily News. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ Olson, Laura (January 15, 2013). "Three Democratic row officers sworn in". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  3. ^ a b Southwick, Ron (December 20, 2012). "2012 Newsmakers: Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania's first female elected attorney general". The Patriot-News. 
  4. ^ a b Murphy, Jan (April 24, 2012). "Kathleen Kane captures Democratic nomination in Pa. attorney general race". The Patriot-News. 
  5. ^ "Kathleen Kane For Attorney General". Intelligencer Journal. October 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Micek, John L. (April 13, 2012). "Two Pennsylvania Democrats vying for attorney general". The Morning Call. 
  7. ^ a b "Murphy for the law: He's the better Democrat for attorney general". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Experience tilts scale for Kane". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Jackson, Peter (April 14, 2012). "Murphy-Kane race for AG a study in contrasts". RealClearPolitics. 
  10. ^ "Kathleen Kane's historic win, Arlen Specter's death lead Pennsylvania political news in 2012". The Express Times via Associated Press. December 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ Eilperin, Juliet (July 11, 2013). "Who is Kathleen Kane?". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ Couloumbis, Angela (March 17, 2014). "Kane: Targets committed crimes but sting flawed". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/03/kane_defends_decision_against.html
  14. ^ http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/09/29/pennsylvania-ags-office-says-rape-victim-shoulder-blame-attack/
  15. ^ http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/09/25/pennsylvania-defending-lawsuit-blaming-woman-rape/
  16. ^ a b "Pennsylvania woman blamed for her own rape in state response to lawsuit". CNN. September 25, 2014. 
  17. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/24/justice/woman-blamed-for-her-rape/
  18. ^ a b Esack, Steve; Hall, Peter (21 January 2015). "New Kathleen Kane grand jury documents outline recommended criminal charges". The Morning Call. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Brittany Foster (December 13, 2013). "Senate 2016: Kane "Is Pretty Serious About This"". PoliticsPA. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ Jonathan Tamari (December 11, 2014). "As Pa. pols gather, Democrats talk of taking on Toomey". philly.com. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ Angela Couloumbis (December 12, 2014). "Kane vows to fight for her office". Philly.com. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  22. ^ John L. Micek (December 13, 2014). "Kathleen Kane, facing grand jury investigation, announces 2016 re-election bid". The Patriot-News. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Pa. Attorney General Kathleen M. Kane files for divorce". Philadelphia Inquirer. December 28, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  24. ^ http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Morganelli
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Linda Kelly
Attorney General of Pennsylvania