A Montgomery County Court judge on Monday ordered former Attorney General Kathleen Kane to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse after a March arrest for DUI.
Under an agreement between Kane’s defense lawyer and county prosecutors, Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy revoked Kane’s probation in a 2016 corruption conviction and ordered her into treatment. The judge gave Kane credit for two months she has spent in a rehab facility and in Montgomery County prison after her DUI arrest and said she must immediately enroll in an inpatient alcohol treatment program in West Chester called Thornbury Farm.
Deputy District Attorney Kelly Lloyd told the court, “The commonwealth’s concern is to address the defendant’s addiction abuse issues.”
Kane, who appeared to have no family or supporters in the courtroom, took the stand briefly to say only that she did not contest that she had violated her probation. She told the judge she did not wish to make a longer statement.
The judge, in handing down the sentence, quoted a probation officer as saying Kane was “humbled by current events in her life.”
The judge also said that a rehab center had determined that Kane was facing “significant long-term and short-term trauma issues.” She said in-patient stays at Thornbury Farm typically range from three to six months.
Kane, 55, was jailed three weeks ago to await Monday’s hearing before for violating her probation with her arrest for drunk driving the previous month. Demchick-Alloy was the judge who presided over the perjury case that ended Kane’s brief but high-profile political career.
The state’s former top prosecutor was released on five years’ probation in the summer of 2019 after serving eight months for the perjury conviction at the Montgomery County jail in Eagleville. She voluntarily turned herself in to that same jail on April 29.
Kane, in her first and only run for office, became the first Democrat and first woman to be elected attorney general in Pennsylvania. She was found guilty in 2016 of perjuring herself before a grand jury about how she had illegally leaked confidential material in a bid to embarrass a political enemy. A jury also convicted her of official regulation, obstructing justice, and conspiracy. She resigned in the last year of her four-year term.
She was arrested for driving under the influence on March 12 after she crashed her Audi into another car in Scranton, near her hometown of Clarks Summit. No one was hurt.
She refused to take a blood-alcohol test, but the arresting officer said Kane had slurred speech, smelled of alcohol, and swayed when asked to stand on one foot. The driver of the car Kane hit told police Kane’s car smelled of fresh perfume before officers arrived. authorities said Kane told police her identical twin had been driving the car.
She is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing on Thursday in Scranton on the DUI charge, a misdemeanor; and a citation for careless driving.
In 2014, The Inquirer reported that Kane had secretly shut down an undercover sting investigation that caught Democratic legislators from Philadelphia pocketing cash from an undercover informant posing as a lobbyist.
Furious that her actions became public, Kane sought revenge against a former state prosecutor whom she blamed for the story. A jury found that she leaked secret investigative information in an attempt to punish the prosecutor, and then lied under oath about it to a grand jury. She was disbarred after her conviction.
Kane was eligible to 10 to 23 months in prison, but ended up serving less than the minimum — just over eight months — qualifying for an early release based on credit for good behavior.
After Kane shut the undercover probe, it was resurrected by former Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. Five former state legislators were convicted of sting-related charges. A sixth defendant, also a former State House member, pleaded no-contest to fail to file an accurate financial-disclosure form.