Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane acquitted in drunken driving case

PHILADELPHIA– Pennsylvania’s former top law enforcement official, who was once jailed for leaking and lying about classified investigative files, was acquitted on drunk driving charges Monday.

A Lackawanna County judge acquitted former Attorney General Kathleen Kane of drunk driving and negligent driving after a day-long court hearing in Scranton.

Kane, 56, has been charged by Scranton Police after she was involved in a minor car crash on March 12.

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane exits the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Police said Kane told officers she was a designated driver, but surveillance video showed Kane had been drinking alcohol at a Scranton restaurant shortly before the accident, according to a police affidavit. Officers claimed Kane had watery, bloodshot eyes, slurred words and failed an on-site sobriety test.

Kane’s attorney, Jason Mattioli, said police bodycam footage showed them entering and exiting a vehicle with ease. He added that officers had her take the on-site sobriety test in a snow and ice-covered parking lot in the wind.

“She was set to fail,” he said in a telephone interview after the verdict was announced.

Kane was taken to a DUI processing center, where other law enforcement officers and staff said they did not smell alcohol on her or detect any impairment, Mattioli said.

Police said Kane refused a blood test.

Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said he was disappointed with the judge’s decision.

“Given the strength of the evidence we presented, I can’t understand how the judge could find her not guilty,” he said via email.

Once a rising star in Pennsylvania politics, Kane was the first woman and first Democrat to be elected the state’s chief prosecutor. She resigned after being convicted of perjury, obstruction and other charges in 2016 for leaking classified investigative files to embarrass a rival prosecutor.

Kane served eight months of a 10 to 23 month sentence. She was released in 2019.

Kane received treatment three days after the car accident and reported to Montgomery County Correctional Facility outside of Philadelphia on April 29.

Kane appeared in Montgomery County Court last May and admitted she violated her probation when she was arrested for drunk driving. She was sentenced to two months to a year in prison, but time already served was counted.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane acquitted in drunken driving case

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