PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) – Attorney General Kathleen Kane was upbeat and smiling before and after state Supreme Court arguments over the legality of a special grand jury that investigated her.
“I am very cautiously hopeful about today and I am very grateful that the court took the time to listen to this important case for me and for Pennsylvania,” Kane said.
Kane’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, argued Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge William Carpenter had no authority to appoint special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio to investigate allegations the attorney general’s office gave secret grand jury material to a Philadelphia newspaper.
Carluccio said the judge had a right to protect grand jury secrecy, and added his appointment should have been challenged within 10 days. He said Kane is challenging his appointment now because she doesn’t like the outcome.
The special grand jury in Carluccio’s investigation has recommended perjury, obstruction and other charges against Kane.
“All I can tell you is that the motivation is to find the truth and that is all this investigation was about, not motivated by anything else but the truth,” Carluccio said.
The hearing attracted attorneys from across the state, who say the outcome could set a new precedent in Pennsylvania.
“This is a very interesting case. How often does the attorney general get cited for contempt,” said Lawrence Otter, a Bucks County attorney. “Every justice was invested in this case, because everyone asked a couple questions. Is this going to be a unanimous decision? I highly doubt it. I think it is going to be a 3-2 and I cannot tell you which way it is going to go.”
The decision to file charges against Kane will be up to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. For now, any charges have been stayed pending the Supreme Court’s ruling, which could take several months.
“I am going to let the court make its own decision now, so I am not going to have any further comment,” Kane said.