Prosecutors seek "significant" jail term for Kane

Kathleen Kane leaves Montgomery County’s Courtroom A during a lunch break in her trial Aug. 10, 2016.

Montgomery County prosecutors want a judge to send former state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to prison, arguing that she has shown no remorse since a jury found her guilty in August of perjury and other crimes.

In a court filing Monday, they asked County Court Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy to impose a "significant and stiff sentence," saying Kane's crimes were calculated and deliberate. In a presentencing investigation, they said, Kane referred to her conviction as the result of "a 30-second decision." But, they said, "this is simply not true."

Kane's attorneys, meanwhile, have requested that Kane serve her sentence under house arrest because she needs to care for her two sons.

"The thought of losing my kids over a job kills me," Kane told presentencing investigators, according to an excerpt quoted by prosecutors.

A jury convicted Kane in August of orchestrating an illegal leak of grand jury materials to embarrass a political foe, plotting a cover-up, and lying about it under oath.

The maximum term she could receive is 12 to 24 years in prison, although state sentencing guidelines for first-time offenders recommend a far shorter sentence.

Demchick-Alloy, who will determine Kane's sentence next week, on Monday ordered a court assessment of Kane's suitability for house arrest, which District Attorney Kevin R. Steele has opposed. Steele argued that Kane shares custody of her sons with her husband, from whom she has filed for divorce, and that jail time would be the only appropriate punishment.

Steele asked for "consecutive sentences of incarceration" for Kane's convictions on two felony counts of perjury and seven other misdemeanors.

"Kathleen Kane abused the power entrusted to her by the people of Pennsylvania to advance her own agenda of personal vindictiveness," prosecutors wrote.

Kane's attorneys had not filed their own presentencing memorandum by Monday's deadline.

Kane, 50, resigned two days after her conviction, ending a tumultuous first term in office for the Democratic attorney general. Steele said in his filing that Kane's resignation should not be seen as a sign of remorse because state law would have required her removal from office at the time of her sentencing.

Prosecutors also cited Kane's statement to reporters on the day of her resignation that she had "no regrets."

Steele said that Kane "continues to argue that her legal troubles are the result of her simply doing her job as best she could," and that she maintained that stance in interviews with court staff.

"People tend to play it safe," Kane said in a presentencing investigation interview. "People elected me to do a job and I will do it."

Kane's former security chief, Patrick Reese, was also charged when his former boss was arrested in 2015. A judge sentenced him in March to serve three to six months in jail for violating a protective order and reading colleagues' emails in an effort to learn about the criminal investigation into Kane. He has remained free on bail as he appeals his conviction.