Pa. taxpayers billed more than $1M for porn email report, so where is it?

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Where’s the Gansler report?

That question was asked Thursday by citizen activist Simon Campbell. His right-to-know requests have thus far been blocked by the Office of Attorney General.

Gansler is Doug Gansler, former Maryland Attorney General, who was commissioned last December by then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane to investigate the magnitude of pornographic emails and report his findings.

There were tens of thousands of racist, sexist, and pornographic emails that were shared by judges, prosecutors and lawyers. Several prominent Pennsylvanians lost their jobs after their involvement came to light.

Gansler promised to be independent and name names regardless of party or position.

“We are there to look at the facts and only the facts wherever they take us,” Gansler said at his December 2015 news conference.

Well, Gansler’s report is done and he’s confident it could legally be released to the public. He has billed Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $1 million to produce it. Attorney General Bruce Beemer is still reviewing it.

“Once that review is completed, the report will be released in some form or another,” Beemer spokesman Chuck Ardo said Thursday.

Not good enough, according to Campbell, whose promising to sue if the full report is not released.

“We, as Americans, don’t live under a benevolent king,” Campbell said. “Bruce Beemer is not His Royal Majesty. When we pay to get an independent report, we have a right to receive it.”

The candidates for attorney general are weighing in.

“The emails should be made public, period, end of statement,” Democrat Josh Shapiro said. “Pennsylvanians have a right to know what is going on and who is conducting themselves that way.”

Republican John Rafferty is OK with Beemer screening before releasing and believes he will do the right thing.

“He’s a standup guy,” Rafferty said of Beemer. “If he says here’s the ones you want to see, I think you have to trust his judgment.”

But Campbell has trouble trusting:

“How do we know, for example, that his majesty Beemer himself is not in the report? How do we know Governor Wolf is not in the report? Are we supposed to just trust them? This is Pennsylvania, Dennis. Too many of these people go to jail. We can’t trust in government in Pennsylvania. That would be very naïve.”

It is a valid philosophical debate. If AG staffers were sharing emails about a breast cancer walk and the word ‘breast’ caused that email to be flagged, should those staffers be named and the email be made public?

Ardo insists Beemer will be both transparent and fair when the Gansler report is released, which he expects will happen in the next few weeks.

“Mr. Campbell should wait until the report is released before he judges it one way or the other,” Ardo said.

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