Trust, loyalty led AG Kane to move cousin from campaign to state staff
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane in January hired her cousin to a $56,665 job as her executive assistant, her office confirmed Wednesday.
Colleen Tighe was the “most qualified for the job,” said Kane's first deputy, Adrian King. “It was not just skills and ability; it was trust and loyalty.”
Tighe was Kane's executive assistant and traveled with her during the 2012 campaign, King said.
“She's someone the attorney general is with 24-7,” King said.
Tighe could not be reached.
In August, Kane's office confirmed that her identical twin received a 19.65 percent pay raise in April to head the office's Child Protection Unit. Ellen Granahan worked in the office before Kane arrived, under former Attorneys General Linda Kelly and Gov. Tom Corbett, who hired her.
King said he promoted Granahan because of her experience and did so without Kane's input. The promotion boosted Granahan's pay from $69,771 to $83,423.
Kane is the first Democrat and first woman elected as Pennsylvania's attorney general. In November, she led the Democratic ticket, drawing more votes than President Obama.
“It's a fairly common practice in government” for some elected officials to place relatives on staff, said G. Terry Madonna, a political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. “It's been going on for more than a century.”
But he noted that “public officials need to be careful about the business of relatives on payrolls, especially when they are hired by the principal.”
Tighe will not write legal opinions or make key decisions, Madonna said.
Tighe was right for the job because Kane can talk on the phone about sensitive topics or family issues with her present, King said.
“This has not been the easiest transition in the world, considering it's an agency controlled by one party for 32 years,” he said.
The women share a hotel room when Kane travels, saving taxpayers money, King noted.
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.
- Steelers to retire Joe Greene’s jersey number
- Western PA Wildcatz semipro football team chasing national title
- Takei to host Pittsburgh Pops ‘Sci-Fi’ concerts
- 30 cited for trespassing at union rally
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Duquense teen to stand trial on charges he shot, killed unborn child
- 2 sentenced for avoiding arrest after Steelers player was stabbed
- Pittsburgh braces for waves of marches, demonstrations this week
- Man to serve prison sentence for rock attack
- Former IU4 director enters guilty plea to stealing from agency
- Killer Baumhammers wants public defender for death sentence appeal