Attorney general defends probe decision

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Sunday defended her office’s decision not to pursue criminal charges in an investigation into whether four Democratic state lawmakers from Philadelphia accepted illegal payments.

Kane responded to a lengthy story in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday that disclosed the investigation, arguing that the case came to her in fatally flawed form and noting that her own office, an unnamed federal agency and the county prosecutor in Harrisburg all considered the case too weak to prosecute.

Kane told The Associated Press during an hour-long interview in her Harrisburg office that the investigation had become stale by the time it was handed over to her when she took office early last year.

She also said she had concerns about a deal made about a month before she took office to drop charges against the confidential informant used in the case as well as concerns the defendants may have been targeted based on race.

All four are members of the Legislature’s black caucus.

“There’s no way a jury would convict on this,” Kane said.