Pennsylvania’s former attorney general was acquitted Monday of drunken driving.
A Lackawanna County judge acquitted former Attorney General Kathleen Kane of drunken driving and careless driving after a one-day bench trial in Scranton, Fox Philadelphia reported. Kane turned herself over to authorities over the summer after an arrest warrant was issued for her.
Kane, 56, was found behind the wheel of an Audi on March 12 by Scranton police officers, who were called to respond to a two-car crash. She denied she had been drinking and pointed to her passenger, who said: “It’s totally not me,” according to an affidavit previously obtained by the news outlet.
She said she had picked her sister up and was giving her a ride.
The other driver told authorities that Kane drove into his vehicle at an intersection and that he smelled alcohol on her. Kane allegedly sprayed perfume on herself before officers arrived and offered to pay for the damage to the other vehicle.
Kane’s lawyer, Jason Mattioli, said police body camera footage showed her getting in and out of a vehicle without difficulty. He said officers made her take the field sobriety test on parking lot covered with snow and ice.
“She was set up to fail,” he told the news outlet after the verdict.
Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said he was disappointed in the judge’s decision.
“Given the strength of the evidence we presented, I struggle to understand how the judge could find her not guilty,” he told the news outlet via email.
Kane, a Democrat, was a rising star when she resigned in 2016 after being convicted of perjury, obstruction and other counts for leaking secret investigative files to embarrass a rival prosecutor, the news outlet said.
She was eventually sentenced to 23 months in prison and released in 2019. At the time of the crash, she was on probation.