State Senator Art Haywood released the following statement today after a vote of the Pennsylvania Senate not to remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office:
HARRISBURG, 10 February 2016: “Today the Senate voted not to remove Attorney General Kane from office. The Attorney General is not disabled from serving in her role with a suspended law license. The Senate’s decision was strongly supported by the evidence before the Special Committee on Senate Address.
The Special Committee found that the Attorney General is a lawyer and a member of the bar of the Supreme Court. This meets the requirements of Article 4, Section 5, of the Pennsylvania Constitution. In addition, we heard that the Attorney General is primarily the CEO of her office and does not need a law license to fulfill her duties. Chief of Staff Duecker and Governor Rendell testified that more than ninety percent of the Attorney General’s responsibilities in office are managerial and policy matters.
Further, despite concerns about litigation, Courts of Common Pleas are routinely ruling that the Office of Attorney General continues to have the authority to prosecute criminals. The power of the Attorney General’s Office comes from the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, and not from an individual law license. The Office of Attorney General indeed goes to court, and has more than 300 lawyers to do so. If this legislative body had removed the Attorney General based upon our interpretation of the constitution, we would have become the Supreme Senate and destroyed the foundation of our democracy.
The Senate correctly decided that removal of the Attorney General is wrong. This decision protects our democracy.”
Contact: Melissa Ostroff