ShareThis Page
News

Smutty emails led to firings, resignations, pending terminations

| Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, 5:26 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Four employees were fired and two resigned as a result of the state attorney general's investigation of sexually explicit emails exchanged in the office.

In addition, two pending terminations of union employees await “exhaustion of their contractually mandated rights,” the office said Wednesday.

Eleven people were suspended without pay. Others received reprimands or must undergo counseling.

“When we learned that this practice existed and had gone unchecked in the past, we took steps to monitor and ensure that every Office of Attorney General employee knew this kind of behavior would not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who is at home in Clark's Summit recovering from a concussion.

About 31 people were involved to some extent, her office said.

Kane scheduled sensitivity training for every employee. Her office said she is establishing other avenues for reporting such behavior without fear of retaliation.

“I am determined to put an end to this behavior,” Kane said. “I was disappointed to learn that some individuals chose to continue sharing pornography on taxpayer time.”

The firings are believed to include people who continued transmitting pornography after her office issued warnings, and some who may have continued it from previous administrations.

Former top employees of the office, including prosecutors and agents, sent and received sexually explicit emails, Kane's office has said. That resulted in resignations in Gov. Tom Corbett's administration and the retirement of state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, for sending hundreds of pornographic emails.

McCaffery's were sent from a private email account to a since-retired attorney general's agent.

Corbett, the former attorney general, has said he was unaware of the email sharing. Among those who resigned was the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter.

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.

click me