Pa.'s high court lets Kane remove judge
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has succeeded in ousting a state judge who specialized in overseeing secret, statewide grand jury investigations, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Monday.
The state Supreme Court sided with Kane in May in her effort to remove Barry Feudale from the position, the Inquirer reported. The proceedings were kept under seal, and the Inquirer did not say how it learned about it.
However, the newspaper report said Kane made the move after discovering an email Feudale had sent to a former top state prosecutor criticizing Kane and her predecessor, Linda Kelly.
Kane also told the court about an incident involving a knife — something Feudale says was taken out of context when he stopped by her offices and showed a secretary a 10-inch Gurkha dagger he keeps in his office.
Asked about the allegations, Feudale called them “a sneak attack” that had twisted the facts.
The Inquirer report said that the dispute that resulted in Feudale's removal is part of a larger battle between the newly elected attorney general, a Democrat, and the entrenched state prosecutors who had worked in the office under Republicans, who had controlled it for decades up until January.
Feudale, 67, has overseen grand juries in some of the attorney general's office's biggest cases, including the recent corruption scandal in the Legislature and the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case at Penn State.
Feudale sent the email to Frank Fina, a onetime top prosecutor who left for the Philadelphia district attorney's office after building many of the attorney general office's biggest cases. In it, he wrote: “The Last General aka ‘Private' Kelly, could not lead and was indecisive to the point that she was almost ineffective.”