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The Kane affair: Stop to the games

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Monday, April 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

What kind of game is Kathleen Kane playing? We are forced to ask that question following revelations that Pennsylvania's attorney general sought to attach what can only be described as a self-protection codicil to giving up the case file in the celebrated, but unprosecuted, sting that allegedly ensnared a number of Democrat Philadelphia pols.

Never mind that Ms. Kane, also a Democrat, still believes crimes were committed, she cited legal flaws in pulling the plug on an investigation that predated her assuming office. Everything from allegations of racial bias to a credibility-killing plea deal with a confidential informant who would have been the prosecution's star witness were invoked.

The bias claim subsequently was rebutted by those who say the probe was not confined to black public officials. And then Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a fellow Democrat, blasted Kane's handling of the matter. Kane countered by announcing that if Mr. Williams wanted the case, he could have it. But she later claimed Williams was conflicted because he was endorsed for the Philly DA job five years ago by two of those stung. Kane is prosecuting someone else under a similar past endorsement circumstance.

Now comes word, from Williams, that Kane sought something akin to immunity in return for giving Williams the case file — that as part of his investigation he would not review Kane's handling of the sting's end game. Williams, citing the law, has balked.

It's time for this soap opera to end. The time is now for an independent counsel.

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