Interim attorney general Bruce Beemer moved swiftly after taking office this week to fire two top aides of disgraced former attorney general Kathleen Kane.
Jonathan Duecker, Kane’s chief of staff, and Patrick Reese, her former driver who snooped in employees’ emails at Kane’s behest, were both terminated today, Beemer announced.
Kane left office after being convicted of leaking evidence to the media to embarrass a rival. Beemer, who stepped in to replace her first deputy Bruce Castor as attorney general for the remainder of 2016 earlier this week, said no further comment would be available about the firings, calling them a “personnel matter.”
However, both men’s reputations were tarnished by the Porngate scandal.
Kane, who went on a semi-holy war against employees who sent or received pornographic or racist emails in the Porngate scandal, reportedly refused to fire Duecker even after he was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees.
Human resources officer George Moore testified at the criminal trial where Kane was convicted that Kane fired him for recommending she fire Duekcer over the sexual harassment.
Reese, formerly Kane’s driver, was sentenced to three to six months for snooping through employee emails to find out who was testifying before a secret grand jury investigating Kane.
His discoveries reportedly led her to confront one political consultant with knowledge about his testimony. But he has not yet been formally incarcerated.
Beemer takes office just days after Castor pulled a hokey pokey on hundreds of employees at the office, issuing a mass letter telling people they would be identified in a forthcoming report on Porngate by a special prosecutor Kane appointed. Days later he backpedaled and delayed the report’s release.
Beemerpreviously objected to Kane hiring a special prosecutor to investigate Porngate while she herself was without a law license and under indictment. “Everyone would get to see what they are accused of,” he said of the report.