Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tom Wolf says Kathleen Kane 'wrong' to drop investigation

Tom Wolf, the front-runner in the May 20 Democratic primary for governor, offered criticism today for everyone involved in a controversial corruption investigation run by the state Attorney General's Office.

Tom Wolf says Kathleen Kane 'wrong' to drop investigation

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Tom Wolf, the front-runner in the May 20 Democratic primary for governor, offered criticism today for everyone involved in a controversial corruption investigation run by the state Attorney General's Office.

On Sunday, Wolf's four primary competitors declined to second guess Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision, first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month, to shut down an investigation that secretly recorded four state representatives from Philadelphia and a local Traffic Court judge allegedly taking money or gifts from a lobbyist.

"I'm not a prosecutor but come on," Wolf, a former state revenue secretary, told the PennLive Editorial Board today. "The way different attorneys general have prosecuted this, I think is wrong."

(Video of Wolf's appearance is below. His comments on the investigation start about 24 minutes in.)

The investigation, according to a time-line released by Kane, started in the last three months of then-Attorney General Tom Corbett's tenure in 2010.  Corbett resigned to take office as governor in January 2011 and was replaced by acting Attorney General Bill Ryan and then acting-Attorney General Linda Kelly.

Kane took office in January 2013.

"This criticism goes across the board to the attorneys general who started this to the current attorney general," Wolf said of Corbett and Kane. "If the investigation was proceeding down a bad path, put it on the right path."

Kane has called the investigation "deeply flawed" and said federal prosecutors and the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, which has jurisdiction in Harrisburg, reviewed it and concluded it could not be successfully prosecuted.

Part of Kane's problem with the investigation is the decision 45 days before she took office to drop 2,033 criminal counts against lobbyist Tyron B. Ali, who had been accused of stealing $430,000 from a state program meant for poor children and senior citizens.

Wolf, who said the elected officials who allegedly took money and gifts should be held accountable, called Ali's deal a "get-out-of-jail-free card."

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About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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