Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Justice receiving hard-core pornographic emails? Check. Another Justice using that fact as an opportunity to call for his long-term rival’s resignation? Check. My friends: the problems of Pennsylvania’s legal culture, in one nicely-wrapped, festering, package. And now, the made-for-Above-the-Law story is getting worse:
“Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s unprecedented move to expose the swapping of pornographic e-mails on state time has so far cost four men their jobs, put another at risk of being stripped of his state post, and left three others deeply embarrassed.
All of them may be collateral damage.
So far, Kane has not landed a major blow on the man who sources say has long been her main target: former state prosecutor Frank Fina.
In fact, she’s been muzzled from doing so …
Fina is a career prosecutor known for high-profile public-corruption cases at the Attorney General’s Office. He now works for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
Numerous people with knowledge of their quarrel – including sources close to both – have said Fina participated in the exchange of X-rated e-mails.
According to the same sources, Kane was intent on making that fact public.
She wanted to expose what she believed was an entrenched misogynistic culture in the Attorney General’s Office when Fina was a ranking prosecutor and before she took charge, people close to her say.”
According to the story, Fina obtained a gag order preventing the Attorney general from evening mentioning his name by going to a suburban judge overseeing a grand jury, on the theory that “Kane’s office was using the threat of tying him to the sexually explicit e-mails to intimidate and silence him and others.” But today’s story (seemingly by sources close to the Attorney General) would appear to sap the vitality of that gag order, which may now be extinguished. And enterprising journalists might fairly ask Philadelphia’s District Attorney what he thinks of Fina’s conduct, and whether the DA has asked his employee if Fina indeed sent and received hard-core pornographic emails to colleagues and to Justices on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. This scandal, already so damaging for the reputation of Pennsylvania’s bench and bar, may get worse.