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Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane ordered to undergo alcohol treatment after a DUI arrest

Philadelphia Inquirer logo Philadelphia Inquirer 5/24/2022 Craig R. McCoy, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, right, exits court after a hearing Monday on an probation violation at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown. © JOSE F. MORENO/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, right, exits court after a hearing Monday on an probation violation at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown.

A Montgomery County Court judge on Monday ordered former Attorney General Kathleen Kane to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse after a March arrest on suspicion of drunken driving violated her probation for a 2016 corruption conviction.

Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy revoked Kane’s probation and ordered her into treatment. The judge gave Kane credit for two months she has spent in a rehab facility and in jail after her DUI arrest and said she must immediately enroll in an inpatient alcohol treatment program in West Chester called Thornbury Farm House. The program’s website says it helps women make changes “in thoughts, in moods, in behaviors and in spirituality in order to stay clean and sober.”

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Lloyd told the court, “The commonwealth’s concern is to address the defendant’s addiction abuse issues.”

Kane, 55, who appeared to have no family or supporters in the courtroom, took the stand briefly to say only that she agreed she had violated her probation with the DUI arrest. 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 been “humbled by current events in her life.” The judge also said that experts at another rehab center where Kane stayed recently had determined she was facing “significant long-term and short-term trauma issues.”

Officially, Demchick-Alloy gave Kane new jail time of two to 12 months, but by crediting her with two months of past confinement, permitted Kane to enroll right away in the Chester County program. Kane’s lawyer had wanted her treatment to be at an outpatient facility, but the judge ordered her to stay in a facility.

Demchick-Alloy presided over the 2016 trial and sentenced Kane to a jail term followed by probation. At the start of Monday’s hearing, the judge looked at Kane and said, “I was hopeful of not seeing you, but that was your choice, not mine.”

Three days after her March 12 DUI arrest in Scranton, officials disclosed Monday, Kane checked into an inpatient facility, Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery in Scotrun, Pa., about 40 miles south of her home outside Scranton. She stayed there for 45 days and then voluntarily turned herself into the Montgomery County jail in Eagleville — the same jail where she spent eight months for her corruption conviction.

Kane stayed there from April 29 until sheriffs brought her into court Monday in Norristown. The state’s former top prosecutor was put back into handcuffs after the hearing Monday, but was expected to be quickly transferred to Thornbury Farm. Patients typically stay there from three to six months.

Kane, in her 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 convicted her of perjury, official oppression, obstructing justice, and conspiracy.

She was arrested on suspicion of 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.

Kane 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 ex-prosecutor, and then lied under oath about it to a grand jury.

This story was updated with additional information about the terms of the judge’s order.

©2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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