December 16, 2015
There's a new – and potentially huge – development in the constantly unraveling scandal around Pennsylvania law enforcement officials, judges and politicians sharing racy emails with each other.
Appearing in court Wednesday, Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said that Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who revealed the emails to expose what she says is an old boy's club, was a recipient of some of those messages.
Gilson, in court in Dauphin County to testify in the case of a Pennsylvania state Rep. Louise Williams Bishop of Philadelphia, who pleaded no contest to a charge saying she failed to disclose a $1,500 gift, was asked about "Porngate," according to Philly.com. He said Kane, along with her twin sister Ellen Granahan, a state prosecutor, had received some of the messages in question. More from Philly.com:
In response to a question about the pornographic email scandal that has enmeshed three prosecutors in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said news organizations should question Kane about the 58 emails he said her sister, Ellen Granahan, had received -- and the 11 messages forwarded to Kane.
The contents or nature of those emails were not immediately disclosed.
Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo told the website he wasn't aware of Kane or her sister being connected to any of the emails.
The revelation came during a trial rooted in the beginning of the Porngate scandal.
While working under Kane, current Philadelphia prosecutor Frank Fina – who was recently demoted over the scandal – began an investigation into alleged corruption among several black lawmakers from Philadelphia, including Bishop.
Kane shelved the case, citing concerns about racism, which led to Fina allegedly leaking her decision to the press.
When Fina was hired by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams' office, the case was reopened and led to charges and pleas for five elected officials.
In response, Kane allegedly leaked secret grand jury information regarding a separate case in an attempt to embarrass Fina, something she lost her law license over as she currently faces charges of perjury and obstruction.
After being hit with those charges, Kane released a number of emails she described as pornographic and offensive that were circulated among a number of top state officials.
Kane says she found the emails while looking into how her predecessor, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, handled the child sexual abuse case of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
If she did, in fact, see those messages herself, it could undermine her main argument – not to mention the investigation she launched into the whole affair that's expected to cost nearly $2 million.