Former state AG sent to treatment after probation violation

·2 min read

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s former top law enforcement officer, who served jail time for leaking secret investigative files and lying about it, admitted Monday that she violated her probation when she was arrested for drunken driving in March.

Kathleen Kane, the first woman and first Democrat to be elected attorney general in the state, was sentenced to two months to a year of jail on the probation violation, but was given credit for time already served and was scheduled to be paroled directly to a residential alcohol treatment center.

Kane appeared before the same judge who sentenced her in the original leak case.

“I was not anticipating seeing you again, and I was hopeful we would not see you again in Montgomery County, but that's been your choice, not mine,” Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy told Kane in court.

Kane took the stand briefly and answered a series of routine questions. She did not comment outside court.

Once a rising star in Pennsylvania politics, Kane resigned as attorney general after being convicted in 2016 of perjury, obstruction and other counts for leaking grand jury material to embarrass a rival prosecutor. She served eight months of a 10-to-23-month sentence before being released in 2019.

On March 12, police in Scranton were called to the scene of a two-car crash and said they found Kane behind the wheel of an Audi.

Kane told responding officers she was a designated driver, but surveillance video showed Kane herself had been drinking alcohol at a Scranton restaurant shortly before the crash, according to an affidavit.

Kane had watery, bloodshot eyes and slurred her words — police said she had trouble saying the word “designated” — and failed a field sobriety test, the documents said.

Kane was charged with drunken driving and careless driving. That prompted the judge in Montgomery County to issue a bench warrant for her arrest.

Kane, 55, entered treatment three days after the crash, then reported to Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside Philadelphia on April 29. For sentencing purposes, she was given credit for the 45 days she has already spent in treatment, along with her time at the jail. She was also given three years of probation.

"She’s been humbled by this experience, and I believe that she won’t be back here again,” said her attorney, Marc Steinberg. “I hope so.”

Kane was expected to be taken from the jail directly to the residential treatment facility in neighboring Chester County as early as Monday. The typical stay there is three to six months.

Kane still faces charges in the drunken driving case. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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