Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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

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."

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
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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