Back in February, then attorney general Kathleen Kane urged supporters to continue fighting the good ole boys network in Harrisburg that she claimed conspired to snare her in legal troubles after she discovered the offensive emails swapped on state servers in what is now known as “Porngate.”
“When we have accomplished all of that, I will rest peacefully and easily knowing that we have marched into hell for a heavenly cause,” Kane said as she announced she would not seek a second term while facing a criminal trial.
Now just days after her resignationfollowing her conviction, her grim prophesy appears like it may come true.
With former prosecutor Bruce Beemersetto step in next week as interim attorney general, Kane’s former top deputy, Bruce Castor, has indefinitely delayed the release of a special prosecutor’s complete report on Porngate, but that has not stopped the political turmoil.
Castor spoke out Saturday to deny reports that he brokered a deal with unions representing state employees to delay the report’s release. The report, under the direction of special prosecutor Douglas Gansler, is rumored to publicly implicate hundreds of state employees in sending or receiving graphic or offensive emails.
“A story appeared on Philly.com and, perhaps, elsewhere, stating that my decision to delay issuance of the so-called Gansler report was the result of an agreement between our office and a union,” Castor said in a statement Saturday. “No such agreement was made, and the story is in error on this point.No one representing any union ever spoke to me.I made the decision that I did, and I typed and sent the email to all members of OAG notifying them of my decision.The statement that making my decision and sending the email was the result of any sort of agreement is flat out wrong.”
Castor sparked an uproar when hundreds of employees in his office got letters last week informing them they were named in the Porngate report and had until 10 a.m. Aug. 29 to respond.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #74, which represents narcotics agents at the office, and an unidentified officer went to the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg with filings to stop the release of the report last week, according to “PennLive.”
On Friday Castor was already backpedaling, saying that Porngate deadline was indefinitely delayed, and that he would protect the identities of those who are named in Porngate.
“The report was not released in May because I was unhappy with it. It was not released in July because I was unhappy with it. There were zero “leaks” in all that time because I had the only copies,” Castor wrote in an email to his office released to the press. “So please trust me now when I assure you that I am acutely aware of the damage this information could do, however unwarranted, to many of your reputations. I am proceeding with extreme caution during my few remaining days with this agency.”
Kane hired former Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler as special prosecutor last December to conduct the investigation. His mission was to find all graphic, pornographic or racist emails shared on state servers at her office back to 2005, the beginning of former Gov. Tom Corbett’s tenure there.
Thirty-eight people are identified as “high-volume” senders and hundreds as low-volume senders in the report, PennLive.com reported.
Association with these emails and the infamous Porngate scandal has already led to the downfall of two Supreme Court justices, as well as several law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Even Kane’s arch-rival Frank Fina resisted calls for his termination from the Philadelphia D.A.’s office over his involvement only to quietly resign a few months later.
Castor could be replaced by Beemer as early as next week. The Inquirer reported that incoming interim attorney general Beemer said of the report that every staffer will have “a fair opportunity to look at what they are being accused of.”