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Pennsylvania Attorney General facing criminal charges

In the fall of 2013, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane adopted an employment policy that addressed whether workers would be suspended from employment in the event that they were accused of criminal wrongdoing. The policy stated that employees of the office of the Attorney General would be suspended without pay if charged with a felony. However, the Attorney General herself is exempt from that policy, which is helpful now that she is facing an investigation of wrongdoing and potential criminal charges.

The decision to include oneself in this type of policy is left to the discretion of the Attorney General. Because he or she holds an elected office, the A.G. is not considered an employee. It is important to note here that a former Attorney General in Kane's same position also held himself exempt from this employment policy.

Investigators are looking into whether Kane had a hand in leaking government documents to a prominent Philadelphia newspaper. Those documents were allegedly protected under grand jury secrecy procedures. Depending on the results of the ongoing investigation, Kane could be charged with obstruction of justice, perjury, contempt and official oppression.

As the matter moves forward, many in Pennsylvania are suspicious of a policy set into place by the Attorney General that effectively shields that position from negative repercussions that employees of that office might face. However, it is important to note that at the time the policy was signed, Kane was not under investigation and not facing any form of criminal charges. It is unclear whether the policy will change as a result of the current circumstances.

Source: triblive.com, "Policy to suspend employees with felony charges doesn't apply to Pa. AG", Brad Bumsted, July 7, 2015

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