Jury Selection Begins |in Kathleen Kane Case

     NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CN) — The much anticipated trial of Pennsylvania’s attorney general on charges she leaked grand jury information to a reporter to embarrass her political enemies got off to a slow start Monday and attorneys worked to winnow a jury pool of 150 down to 12.
     Kathleen Kane, who four-year term as attorney general has been marred by feuds, intrigue and a pornographic email scandal, sat stoically at the defense table with her legal team, as juror after juror was asked about their background and any biases or other factors that might disqualify them from deciding the case.
     Gerald Shargel, of Winston & Strawn in New York is acting as lead counsel for Kane, and he did much of the questioning of jurors for the defense.
     Meanwhile, Kane’s twin sister, Chief Deputy Attorney General Ellen Granahan, sat nearby in the front row.
     Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, who will be presiding, also took an active role today, reading about two dozen questions to the jurors herself, asking, among other things, about their familiarity with more than 40 people who may be called as witnesses or discussed during a trial.
     They included several of Kane’s former first deputy, Bruce Beemer and current chief of staff, Jonathan Duecker; reporters for the three major newspapers in the state: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and The Morning Call; special prosecutor Thomas Carluccio; retired state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and his brother, Philadelphia County Judge Daniel McCaffery.
     At least a dozen jurors indicated they were familiar with at least one person on the list.
     Kane, the first woman and first Democrat elected state attorney general, is charged with leaking secret grand jury information to a Philadelphia reporter to embarrass enemies and then lying about it under oath. She denies wrongdoing and claims she’s a victim of an “old boys” network in state politics.
     Judge Demchick-Alloy told the prospective jurors she expects the trial to last about a week. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow.

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