Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kane Has Full Agenda in Transition to Ag

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kane Has Full Agenda in Transition to Ag

Article excerpt

HARRISBURG -- With a decisive electoral victory in the books, Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane now moves on to a potentially more sizable challenge: preparing to take the reins of a massive state agency.

The Democrat campaigned in large part on a promise to immediately begin investigating how the attorney general's office under now- Gov. Tom Corbett and his appointed successor, Linda Kelly, handled the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse probe.

She vigorously questioned the investigation's length and resources allocated to it, and maintained that skepticism as revelations came out last week on actions by Penn State University officials to stymie prosecutors' efforts.

Asked late Tuesday night about her transition steps, Ms. Kane focused on her broader approach for getting acquainted with the 700- employee office and its $80 million in annual state funding.

"We'll gather a transition team and start with all the buckets that I want to get accomplished first," she said, pointing to consumer protection, crime and public corruption as three areas of emphasis.

"I think that we kind of had a plan if I won, so now we just start implementing," Ms. Kane added.

Like with former Republican attorney general Tom Corbett in 2004 and Mike Fisher in 1996, Ms. Kane is not already a member of law enforcement. She won't be privileged to certain confidential information until she's sworn in Jan. 15.

Ms. Kelly on Wednesday said her office will work with Ms. Kane leading up to January, when the incoming attorney general also will gain other benefits, like a security detail.

"My staff and I will do everything we can to make the transition seamless, smooth and effective," Ms. Kelly said in a statement congratulating her successor. "We will provide all information not just on the Penn State case, but all other cases."

While leadership transitions are nothing new for the attorney general's office, this one likely will bring about a philosophical shift if Ms. Kane lives up to her campaign promises. …

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