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Smutty emails led to firings, resignations, pending terminations |

Smutty emails led to firings, resignations, pending terminations

HARRISBURG — Four employees were fired and two resigned as a result of the state attorney general’s investigation of sexually explicit emails exchanged in the office.

In addition, two pending terminations of union employees await “exhaustion of their contractually mandated rights,” the office said Wednesday.

Eleven people were suspended without pay. Others received reprimands or must undergo counseling.

“When we learned that this practice existed and had gone unchecked in the past, we took steps to monitor and ensure that every Office of Attorney General employee knew this kind of behavior would not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who is at home in Clark’s Summit recovering from a concussion.

About 31 people were involved to some extent, her office said.

Kane scheduled sensitivity training for every employee. Her office said she is establishing other avenues for reporting such behavior without fear of retaliation.

“I am determined to put an end to this behavior,” Kane said. “I was disappointed to learn that some individuals chose to continue sharing pornography on taxpayer time.”

The firings are believed to include people who continued transmitting pornography after her office issued warnings, and some who may have continued it from previous administrations.

Former top employees of the office, including prosecutors and agents, sent and received sexually explicit emails, Kane’s office has said. That resulted in resignations in Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration and the retirement of state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, for sending hundreds of pornographic emails.

McCaffery’s were sent from a private email account to a since-retired attorney general’s agent.

Corbett, the former attorney general, has said he was unaware of the email sharing. Among those who resigned was the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media’s state Capitol reporter.

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