Office defends promotion, raise for Pennsylvania AG Kane's twin
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane's identical twin received a 19.6 percent raise in April to head the office's Child Protection Unit as a chief deputy attorney general.
Ellen Granahan was an experienced prosecutor whose pay rose from $69,771 to $83,423 when Kane's top deputy Adrian King promoted her, the office said on Friday.
“It shows very bad judgment. (Kane) probably knew it was occurring, and she probably let it occur,” said Allegheny County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Roddey.
Gov. Tom Corbett hired Granahan in 2008 when he was attorney general. Kane has butted heads on several issues with Corbett, a Shaler Republican.
Granahan remained on staff under Kane's predecessor, Attorney General Linda Kelly, whom Corbett hand-picked.
State ethics law prevents officials from using their offices to enable financial gain for relatives.
Kane's spokesman Joe Peters denied that the promotion crossed any legal lines.
“This was not a case of giving her sister a job,” he said.
Moreover, Peters said, King excluded Kane from the process.
“Pennsylvanians deserve clear answers on the attorney general's ethics because she has been entrusted in a law enforcement position and her actions have created serious questions,” said Valerie Caras, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg first reported the promotion Thursday on its Pennlive website.
Peters said the office put in place procedures to guard against conflicts shortly after Kane, a Democrat, took office in January.
“Ellen was one of a number of people and issues identified in late January by the senior staff, which established ethical screens to avoid conflicts of interest,” he said.
Given her experience as a child abuse prosecutor in the Lackawanna District Attorney's Office, “it would have been a crime not to look at Ellen Granahan for this position,” Peters said.
He could not say how many deputies King considered for the post.
Granahan is the second-lowest-paid among 21 chief deputies in the office, Peters said.
Arrests by the Child Predator Unit she heads have tripled this year, compared with all of last year, he said.
Kane clashed with Corbett on his handling of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse investigation. She has a special deputy investigating whether Corbett slowed the case to avoid controversy before his November 2010 election. Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach, is serving a life sentence for molesting boys.
Kane shot down Corbett's plan to privatize the state lottery; her OK was necessary on “form and legality.”
In July, Kane announced she would not defend the state in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law effectively banning gay marriage because she considers it unconstitutional. She turned it over to Corbett's lawyers to handle.
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Oncologists wary of scaled-back guidelines in cancer screenings
- Cal (Pa.) softball loses slugfest; season comes to an end
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Motorist killed in Armstrong County rollover crash
- Posthumous election wins have happened in Western Pa., nation
- 4 dogs found dead in Beechview home; woman charged
- Starter Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates to series sweep of Mets
- Memorial Day service in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies still growing