Pa. attorney general explains controversial decision

PHILADELPHIA - March 20, 2014

"All of this evidence, all of this tainted evidence would have been turned over to the defense and even a future case. You don't get a do over," said Kane.

Though she may call it tainted, Kane does not dispute what that evidence unearthed: a handful of people, reportedly Democratic Philadelphia lawmakers, committing crime by accepting cash and gifts.

However the public only learned of the sting when reports surfaced that this Democrat dropped it.

The reason, she says, the investigation was badly bungled, and fatally flawed.

"The taxpayers lost over $20,000. The taxpayers have lost even more trust in their government - that's the major problem here," said Kane.

Kane has taken heaps of criticism in the days since the reports first surfaced, accused of turning a blind eye to misdeeds by fellow democrats.

First, she called the investigation racially tinged, and said other federal authorities agreed the case was not winnable.

However when asked which authorities:

"I cannot speak for anyone unless they want to speak for themselves," said Kane.

The FBI has said it did not make that determination.

However Kane is emphatic that politics were not at play, even as the independent Committee of Seventy calls for an inquiry.

She says the driving force behind her decision was the confidential informant at the center of the sting, against whom prior prosecutors dropped every charge.

"The Commonwealth needs to have some sort of hammer over the confidential informant to testify and to testify fully and truthfully," said Kane.

Without that, she says, his credibility crumbled, as did the case along with it, no matter what the tapes may tell.

For now, the lawmakers identified, but not charged, have stayed largely silent with no legal price to pay, as Kane staves off a potentially heavy political one.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.