The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 28, 2014

Target of revenge?

Sandusky investigator under investigation at odds with Kane

HARRISBURG — State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is questioning the timing of criticisms against her office by a former Selinsgrove resident under investigation for how he handled allegations against Jerry Sandusky.

Frank Fina, a former chief deputy attorney general who now heads the public-corruption unit in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, says Kane won’t speak to reporters about her halting an investigation into a number of Philadelphia area politicians who allegedly accepted cash and gifts for favors and influence.

She did Wednesday in an interview in Harrisburg with The Daily Item.

“This case was botched from the start,” Kane said, adding that prosecutors dropped charges weeks before she was sworn into office.

A Philadelphia newspaper two weeks ago reported Kane ended the three-year undercover sting operation that had state Democratic lawmakers on tape accepting money and gifts.

The sting began in 2010 under then-Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett. Fina, the lead prosecutor in the operation, claimed Kane, a Democrat, shut it down after she took office in January 2013.

“The final nail in the coffin was when the charges against the (confidential informant) were dropped,” she said. “More than 2,000 charges went away and it crippled the case.”

The confidential informant, lobbyist Tyron B. Ali, 40, alledgedly agreed to wear a wire and tape the officials to win favorable treatment after his arrest in a $430,000 fraud case.

“When prosecutors dismissed more than 2,000 serious charges of fraud that alleged their informant stole $430,000 meant for poor children and seniors, they crippled their chance of this case succeeding in prosecution,” Kane said.

“They decided to drop those charges 24 days after I was elected and weeks before I was sworn in.”

Kane questioned the timing of the attack against her and her office.

“Why now?” she asked.

“This went through Corbett, (once Acting Attorney General) Bill Ryan and (former Attorney General) Linda Kelly and for the past 14 months he (Fina) could have had the Philadelphia district attorney’s office prosecute this case, but they chose not to as well.”

Part of the problem with the investigation was that it targeted African-American lawmakers and ignored illegal acts by whites, Kane said.

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