Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has dropped the idea of filing a defamation lawsuit in response to criticism over her decision to end a "sting" investigation into corruption, the Allentown Morning Call reported Sunday.

Kane also told the newspaper that she was no longer represented by Philadelphia lawyer Richard Sprague in the matter. Sprague raised the idea of a suit during a meeting with the Inquirer Editorial Board in March. Adrian King, Kane's top aide at the time, requested the meeting with The Inquirer.

J.J. Abbott, Kane's spokesman, said Monday he could not confirm or deny Kane's remarks to the Morning Call because the matter was private.

King requested the meeting shortly after The Inquirer reported that Kane had shut down the sting, which sources said caught five elected officials on tape accepting cash or gifts. Kane brought no criminal charges in the probe, saying the investigation was badly flawed. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has put the case before a grand jury to see whether charges are warranted.

- Craig R. McCoy