Kane: Lottery deal must have Assembly role

Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff)
Posted: May 03, 2013

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday that she expected to receive the Corbett administration's revised contract to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery any day now - but signaled that she likely will not approve the proposal unless the legislature gets to sign off.

"They would have to vote on it just like any other privatization deal, and also, they would have to change the gaming rules," Kane said. She added that she had seen no sign that the legislature would be given such a role.

In February, Kane rejected Gov. Corbett's contract with British-based Camelot Global Services, ruling that parts of it violated the state constitution. The Attorney General's Office reviews state contracts.

Kane made her latest remarks at a meeting with Inquirer editors and reporters to review her first 100 days in office. She said administration officials had told her office they would send a revised lottery deal for review "somewhere around the first week of May."

When Kane, a Democrat, initially struck down the contract, it was seen as a political blow to Corbett, a Republican, who has made privatization of state services a goal.

Asked if a reconfigured deal could pass muster without accompanying legislation, Kane said, "I don't know, but I'm not making the decision on the contract before it gets to my desk."

Her staff determined that the Camelot deal usurped the legislature's authority to regulate and manage the lottery. She also said that by allowing the lottery to add electronic games such as keno, the contract would exceed what is authorized under state law.

A Corbett aide said Wednesday that revisions were still under way. "We had indicated to [Kane's office] that the earliest they might see a revised contract is the first week of May," said Nils Frederik-sen, spokesman for the Office of General Counsel. "At this point, it remains a work in progress, and we do not have not a specific date for submission."

The agreement with Camelot expires June 30.

Kane declined to answer most questions Wednesday about her office's review of the Jerry Sandusky child-abuse investigation at Pennsylvania State University. She would not say, for instance, whether Corbett had been interviewed.

During her campaign last year, Kane questioned whether Corbett, who was attorney general when the probe began, had been too slow to bring charges. She has appointed a special deputy to conduct the review.

That the results might arrive in time to alter the 2014 governor's race is not a concern, she said. "It is what it is," Kane said. "I don't care when the election is. . . . However long it takes, it takes."

She added that if the review finds "this was the greatest investigation in the history of the commonwealth, I'll be very happy to do that."


Contact Thomas Fitzgerald at 215-854-2718 or tfitzgerald@phillynews.com, or follow @tomfitzgerald on Twitter. Read his blog, The Big Tent, www.philly.com/bigtent.

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