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Sources: Fired employees had not stopped sending porn emails | TribLIVE.com
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Sources: Fired employees had not stopped sending porn emails

Tribune-Review
| Friday, November 7, 2014 4:31 p.m

HARRISBURG — Employees fired this week by Attorney General Kathleen Kane transmitted pornography on state computers during her administration, sources told the Tribune-Review.

Some continued the practice after doing so under previous attorneys general, sources said, while others may have started doing so under Kane.

The sexually explicit email scandal has focused on pornography sent within the office under Republican administrations from 2008 to 2012. Kane in January 2013 became the state’s first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, succeeding Republican Tom Corbett and his appointee Linda Kelly when he became governor.

Kane’s office hasn’t confirmed how many employees were let go. As of midweek, six or more unidentified employees were fired or forced into retirement, sources said.

More terminations were expected as meetings and employee interviews continued at the office on Friday.

Kane’s office wouldn’t comment on employee behavior uncovered by her internal investigation. She took action after warning her staff months ago not to send sexually explicit emails, a source said.

It isn’t clear whether any of the employees belonged to unions, which represent a portion of the staff.

It is not illegal for consenting adults to transmit pornography but Attorney General’s Office policy prohibits “suggestive, pornographic or obscene material” on agency computers.

Corbett established the policy in 2006. He and Kelly have said they did not know about staffers sharing such emails.

Since Kane released a sample of images and email strings for six former prosecutors and two others in September, several officials have resigned. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo stepped down, as did an attorney who worked for him. A member of the Board of Probation and Parole retired because Corbett asked him to resign.

A former top deputy of Corbett’s resigned from the Lancaster District Attorney’s Office, and a lawyer in private practice left his law firm by mutual agreement.

The Trib and other newspapers had filed open records requests asking Kane to release any sexually explicit emails.

The highest-ranking official implicated is ex-Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, who retired last month, days after his colleagues suspended him for sending and receiving hundreds of smutty emails. McCaffery’s emails, sent to a former agent in the Attorney General’s Office, were not among those Kane disclosed.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media’s state Capitol reporter. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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