Thursday, December 25, 2014

Kane challenges Williams to prosecute corruption probe

Tension between state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams continues to mount in the wake of an Inquirer investigation that revealed Kane shut down a political corruption probe.

Kane challenges Williams to prosecute corruption probe

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

Tension between state Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams continues to mount in the wake of an Inquirer investigation that revealed Kane shut down a political corruption probe.

Williams has criticized Kane’s handling of the investigation, in which Philly Democrats were allegedly recorded taking cash. Now Kane, who has said the probe was flawed to the point of being unprosecutable, has reportedly challenged Williams to have a go at it himself.

According to the Inquirer, Kane sent the D.A. a letter on Wednesday that said “any law enforcement agency interested in taking this case should do so. … I invite you to contact our office to set up a time to accept the evidence."

Williams reportedly shot a letter back that said Kane should send him all the evidence, plus internal communications about the probe. But he did not commit to taking the case.

“If you are sincere in your desire to let other officials evaluate the evidence, you have been free to provide them to full case file at any time," wrote Williams, according to the Inquirer’s Jeremy Roebuck. "Up to this point, you have been doing everything in your power to ensure that my office could never successfully bring charges."

Neither Kane’s nor Williams’ office immediately responded to a request for comment.

Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor in the Abscam-style sting, left the A.G.'s office as Kane was coming into office. He now heads the public-corruption unit in Williams' office.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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