Fmr. Pa. Attorney General calls on Kane to step down

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Kathleen Kane has stated she will not step down from the post as Attorney General in spite of calls from her own party, including Governor Tom Wolf.

Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Ernie Preate found himself in that position 20 years ago when he himself was under a criminal investigation.

He gave up his post, turned in his law license, and now he's urging Kane to do the same thing. He says she should focus on what's important and on the very real possibility she could be facing prison time.

"I went to jail for 11 months, 15 days," Preate said.

Preate sits just blocks away from the courthouse where a young Kathleen Kane first practiced law.

"[Being under investigation] is tough. It's tough. It's draining physically and emotionally. That is why I urged her to do what I did. I said, 'That's it, I'm out of here, I'm going to take a plea and quit,'" Preate said.

Preate resigned in 1995 after he was charged with violating campaign finance laws for accepting large cash contributions.

"It humbled me, it really did," Preate said.

If Kane doesn't resign, Preate says there is still a possibility she could be impeached by the senate, or her law license could be suspended by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which would force her to step aside.

"If you are potentially going to go to jail, you better start dealing with that situation," Preate said.

Preate describes Kane as an inexperienced prosecutor who many in Scranton believed was in over her head.

"She wanted to, she said, 'I'm going to take on Harrisburg.' Well, guess what. You tried and you made some mistakes," Preate said.

Her alleged "crimes," he says, seemed to be more like blunders than planned attempts to skirt the law.

"I believe a lot of it was unintentional; it was not understanding the ramifications. I hope that she didn't do it deliberately," Preate said.

Preate also says he thinks it would be difficult to manage an office of a thousand employees and 200 attorneys, including a handful of people who are actively testifying against you, while also mounting a criminal defense, going to court hearings and dealing with the media.

He says, at the very least, Kane should take a leave of absence to focus on her family and on her case.

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