December 12, 2015
Reviewing porn – at least legally – pays. And pretty well, too.
Outside lawyers hired by state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to scour thousands of emails on state computers for pornography and other offensive content will earn as much as $880 an hour. The lowest rate is $205 an hour. And that’s the discounted rate – 15 percent off.
The total cost of the “Porngate” review by outside lawyers is expected to be around $2 million.
Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, one of the firm’s partners, has agreed to work for roughly $80 an hour, in line with Kane's $159,000-a-year state salary.
His contract, though, is still not completed.
Kane, the first female attorney general, contends her personal legal problems – she’s been indicted for leaking secret grand jury information and then lying about it – stems from her discovery of the network of men who spread the objectionable emails.
She has had he law license lifted and she is also under pressure to resign or face removal, which she is resisting.
Chuck Ardo, the spokesman for Kane, said Saturday that he knows of no time frame for completion of the review.
“I can’t begin to guess. If it isn’t completed and she is no longer the attorney general, would the contract be voidable? Stay tuned to the soap opera,” said Ardo.
Beginning Monday, Gensler’s team, aided by subpoena and grand jury powers, begins reviewing the emails, some of which are pornographic, racist, homophobic and religiously offensive.
The messages were freely traded among employees of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office under former AG Tom Corbett, who went on to a term as governor.
The offensive messages, some of which were sent or resent to others in state government, law enforcement and the judiciary, were discovered after Kane took office.
She had campaigned on a vow to review the actions of her predecessor during the investigation of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who eventually was convicted of 45 counts stemming from his sexual abuse of boys.
Gansler’s review will go as far back as 2009.
One Supreme Court justice has already resigned due to his links to the emails and another is under investigation and faces ethics charges.
Three former AG employees who had taken left the state to take supervisory jobs in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office after feuding with Kane were recently stripped of their authority.
But Philly DA Seth Williams has resisted calls to fire the men.