Kane vows to review Corbett’s handling of Sandusky case

Posted: January 11, 2013

HARRISBURG - The state's attorney general-elect is putting her money where her mouth is.

Following up on a promise she made on the campaign trail last fall, Kathleen Kane said Thursday that immediately upon taking office next week, she would appoint a special deputy to oversee a review of how the Attorney General's Office handled the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse investigation.

"We want to gather up the material and make sure the review is timely," Kane said in an interview. "I don't want to waste any more time."

The planned review sets the stage for an uncomfortable dynamic between the state's soon-to-be top prosecutor - as well as first woman and first Democrat elected to the post - and the Republican governor.

Gov. Corbett, who on Thursday repeated his pledge to cooperate with the review, was attorney general when the office began investigating Sandusky. The case against the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach took nearly three years to develop; critics say it took too long. Some contend that Corbett's political aspirations played into his decisions in the case.

The governor has spent a good chunk of the last year giving impassioned defenses of his handling of the case. After Kane's landslide win, for instance, he said he was not worried about her promised review because he had done nothing improper in the Sandusky probe.

He said he never asked anyone to slow it down - nor did anyone ask him to - for political or any other reasons. And he questioned why Kane would devote time to reviewing a case that produced a result as resounding as Sandusky's conviction last year on 45 counts of sex abuse involving 10 young victims.

"The governor has said it time and time again, he's happy to talk to anybody about this investigation," spokesman Kevin Harley said Thursday. "As long as he believes it's not being driven by politics. And he has no evidence to think that it is."

Kane, a former Lackawanna County prosecutor, has said she would not have used a grand jury and would have moved more swiftly to get Sandusky off the streets. Corbett has countered that bringing a sex-crime case against someone as prominent as Sandusky with just one witness was too risky.

Kane, who is to be sworn in Tuesday, said she had not yet decided who would head the review. She said Adrian R. King Jr., a Philadelphia lawyer who served in Gov. Ed Rendell's administration, would be first deputy attorney general.

She said other top aides would include Bruce R. Beemer, who is chief of staff to departing Attorney General Linda Kelly; Linda Dale Hoffa, formerly in Corbett's Office of General Counsel and a longtime federal prosecutor in Philadelphia; and Lawrence M. Cherba, now a senior deputy attorney general specializing in drug prosecutions.

Kane said her priorities would include reducing violent crime across the state and combating public corruption.

Contact Angela Couloumbis

at 717-787-5934 or acouloumbis@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @AngelasInk.

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