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Attorney General

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NEWS
April 21, 2016
John C. Rafferty Jr. Age: 63 Residence: Audubon, Montgomery County. Family: Single, no children. Occupation: State senator, 44th District. Campaign website: raffertyforag.com Education: bachelor's degree, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; master's degree, Beaver College; law degree, Temple University. Career: Lawyer; deputy attorney general prosecuting Medicaid fraud, 1988 to 1991; state senator, 2003-present. Joseph C. Peters Age: 58 Residence: Lake Winola, Wyoming County.
NEWS
September 1, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - The state Senate made a rare summer return to the Capitol on Tuesday, voting to confirm a former top state prosecutor to replace the convicted Kathleen G. Kane as attorney general. Bruce Beemer, once a key aide to Kane, was approved unanimously by the chamber, with many senators saying they had confidence he would restore calm and credibility to an agency beleaguered by scandal and infighting during Kane's tenure. "It's no secret that the Attorney General's Office has gone through some difficult times over the last year or two," Beemer, a 47-year-old Allegheny County Democrat, told the Senate Judiciary Committee before the vote.
NEWS
August 30, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Bruce L. Castor Jr. finally got the job he always wanted. And two weeks in, he's about to lose it. His unexpected rise to attorney general - and looming departure from the post - tops off a whirlwind eight months for the cowboy boot-wearing Republican. And has him facing the end of his political career for the second time in a year. After decades as a Montgomery County prosecutor and commissioner, he lost a bitter race to reclaim his job as district attorney. The usually camera-friendly Castor faded from view after Bill Cosby's December arrest, even warning reporters on Facebook that they may encounter "Mr. Ruger" - as in the handgun - if they knocked on his door for comment about his 2005 decision not to pursue the case.
NEWS
August 3, 2016 | By Jan Hefler, Staff Writer
The state Senate confirmed Christopher Porrino as New Jersey's attorney general Monday. Gov. Christie had nominated him in June. After a hearing that touched on Porrino's role in the Bridgegate investigation and the controversial multimillion-dollar environmental settlement with ExxonMobil, the Judiciary Committee recommended his approval. The full Senate then voted, 37-0, to confirm him. Porrino was Christie's chief counsel from Jan. 8, 2014, the day the George Washington Bridge lane-closing controversy broke, until July 2015, when he returned to private practice.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Election Day may be 17 months away, but the race for attorney general is on. With an embattled incumbent in office, the 2016 field of candidates could become crowded, political observers say. At least two Republicans and one Democrat are eyeing a run for the office now held by Kathleen G. Kane. "There's a strong perception that this is a seat that is fairly open, given the attorney general's struggles over the last few years," said Christopher Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie should nominate an attorney general to be confirmed by the Senate, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Monday, arguing that process was key to preserving the independence of the office. Sweeney's remarks came as the attorney general's and governor's offices have come under scrutiny for settling a pollution case with ExxonMobil Corp. for $225 million after prosecutors had sought an $8.9 billion judgment at trial last year. A former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection contended last week that Christie's chief counsel, Christopher Porrino, had "elbowed aside" the acting attorney general and pushed for the settlement.
NEWS
September 1, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
A special prosecutor is investigating whether the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to strike back at former prosecutors in the office who had been critical of her, according to several people familiar with the matter. The special prosecutor has issued several subpoenas to Kane's office and others to explore how secret records became public this year about a 2009 investigation by the Attorney General's Office involving Philadelphia political activist J. Whyatt Mondesire, the sources said.
NEWS
June 11, 2012 | By Anna Edney and Katarzyna Klimasinska, Bloomberg News
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's appointment of federal prosecutors to investigate intelligence leaks on cyberattacks and drone strikes is a good start for a probe that must be kept nonpartisan, two key lawmakers said. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Representative Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who heads a similarly named House panel, discussed the leaks and Holder's decision Sunday during an interview on CBS's Face the Nation.
NEWS
April 12, 2016
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane won election resoundingly four years ago, as well as the Inquirer's endorsement, promising to be a "prosecutor, not a politician. " She proved to be not much of either, botching a series of high-profile corruption cases and the ensuing political controversies. Having narrowly survived a justified effort to remove her from office, Kane is ending her term on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution, charged with violating grand jury secrecy to smear a rival.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 16, 2016 | By Maddie Hanna, TRENTON BUREAU
Gov. Christie on Thursday asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to reopen the landmark case that for decades has been the basis for the state's school-funding system, seeking the right to break union agreements that he contends are harming students in poor districts. The governor, who has been pushing to redistribute school aid from urban to suburban districts, is arguing that the current funding system - grounded in the court's Abbott v. Burke rulings - hasn't sufficiently improved poorer school districts.
NEWS
September 15, 2016
By Peter F. Vaira The most important task Bruce Beemer must perform in his short but crucial term as attorney general is to clear up the porngate scandal. The bar, the courts, and the public must know what was going on with the mass ex parte communications between state prosecutors and the judges of the courts of Pennsylvania. Prosecutors and former prosecutors I have spoken with are offended by the scandal. The full details have been kept secret for too long. The delay in exposing the limits of this scandal appears to many as another instance of lawyers protecting lawyers.
NEWS
September 8, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - After serving as the state's top law enforcement official for a mere two weeks, Bruce L. Castor Jr. will leave the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office at the end of the week, state officials said Tuesday. Castor, a former Montgomery County district attorney and commissioner, was hired by then-Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane last spring, and was quickly promoted to be her second-in-command. He became the agency's leader after Kane resigned last month following her conviction on perjury and other charges stemming from abusing her office.
NEWS
September 6, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's conviction clears the way for voters to focus on the two men seeking to replace her as the state's top prosecutor. Labor Day, after all, is the traditional beginning of the mad sprint to the general election for statewide races in Pennsylvania. But the Kane case - a Montgomery County jury found her guilty on Aug. 15 of leaking secret grand jury material and then lying about it - will loom large once more. Kane is set to be sentenced on Oct. 24, just 15 days before the Nov. 8 general election.
NEWS
September 1, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - The state Senate made a rare summer return to the Capitol on Tuesday, voting to confirm a former top state prosecutor to replace the convicted Kathleen G. Kane as attorney general. Bruce Beemer, once a key aide to Kane, was approved unanimously by the chamber, with many senators saying they had confidence he would restore calm and credibility to an agency beleaguered by scandal and infighting during Kane's tenure. "It's no secret that the Attorney General's Office has gone through some difficult times over the last year or two," Beemer, a 47-year-old Allegheny County Democrat, told the Senate Judiciary Committee before the vote.
NEWS
August 30, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
Bruce L. Castor Jr. finally got the job he always wanted. And two weeks in, he's about to lose it. His unexpected rise to attorney general - and looming departure from the post - tops off a whirlwind eight months for the cowboy boot-wearing Republican. And has him facing the end of his political career for the second time in a year. After decades as a Montgomery County prosecutor and commissioner, he lost a bitter race to reclaim his job as district attorney. The usually camera-friendly Castor faded from view after Bill Cosby's December arrest, even warning reporters on Facebook that they may encounter "Mr. Ruger" - as in the handgun - if they knocked on his door for comment about his 2005 decision not to pursue the case.
NEWS
August 20, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Thursday nominated a former top state prosecutor to serve as attorney general and replace the convicted Kathleen G. Kane, a move that would end the fleeting tenure of Bruce L. Castor Jr. Wolf said his nominee, Bruce Beemer, a Democrat, had the support of Republican and Democratic legislative leaders. Beemer's nomination must be confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate, a vote that is not expected before the end of the month. "Bruce Beemer has a depth of experience," Wolf said in a statement.
NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who was convicted Monday of perjury and other crimes, will resign Wednesday, her once-promising career in state politics felled by a fixation on seeking revenge against enemies that led her to break the law. In a statement announcing her intention to step down, Kane, 50, the state's first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, said only: "I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and...
NEWS
August 17, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
A marijuana-legalization activist has dropped his bid to be the Libertarian Party's candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general. N.A. Poe, who is also a comedian, filed the paperwork Monday afternoon and then exited stage left with his sense of humor still on full display. Poe said his exit - "at high noon" - came after the state's Republican and Democratic Parties filed legal challenges last week, noting that a law license is necessary for the job. "It's obvious that I'm not qualified for attorney general," Poe declared.
NEWS
August 17, 2016 | By Craig R. McCoy, Angela Couloumbis, and Laura McCrystal, STAFF WRITERS
Update: The court on Tuesday set sentencing for 10 a.m. Oct. 24, according to the case docket sheet. That's a week before the election to determine her successor in office.  Earlier Story Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane was convicted Monday of perjury, obstruction, and other crimes, after squandering her once-bright political future on an illegal vendetta against an enemy.  Four years after Kane's election in...
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