Recently, Pennsylvania's elected public official, its State Attorney General investigated, uncovered and was set to prosecute inappropriate behavior amongst the local "ole' boys club", judges, up to the highest echelon, and prosecutors.
Of course, Pennsylvania is the state where the judiciary was very recently shaken by scandal and that continued to be shaken by scandal as Kathleen Kane investigated.
Of course, Kathleen Kane was also, as the State Attorney General, attorney representing the State judges when they are sued as defendants in civil rights actions, making investigation and prosecution by Kathleen Kane of those judges decidedly awkward and ridden by conflict of interest. But - that conflict of interest was imposed upon Kathleen Kane by local statute.
The conflict of interest of the local judges was all of their own doing.
Pennsylvania is the state where:
- judges were recently caught in selling kids for kickbacks into a juvenile prison - for years - and attorneys were afraid to report such misconduct, so the feds had to step in, clean the mess and convict the judges; attorneys who could have kids protected long time before, were silent, in fear of attorney discipline used against them as a retaliatory tool for criticizing or reporting judicial misconduct - as it happens both in Pennsylvania, and across the country, with 98% of disciplinary boards, populated by licensed attorneys who are also regulated by the judiciary, finding against attorney whistleblowers criticizing judges;
- The former Chief Judge Ronald Castille was caught in a U.S. Supreme Court case this past June in ruling in a death penalty, 4 TIMES, against the condemned prisoner against whom Ronald Castille as a prosecutor personally sought the death penalty, and whose subordinate prosecutor hid exculpatory evidence from the defense and elicited perjury - several times - from the prosecution's chief witness. In other words, Castille was caught trying to finish, as a judge, the case he started as a prosecutor, and kill of (literally) the man against whom Castille knew he obtained the death penalty by fraud. Castille remains undisciplined, as a judge, and as an attorney - even though there is no statute of limitations for attorney misconduct in Pennsylvania, as far as I know;
- One of the judges of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Michael Eakin, presided over the disciplinary case of the prosecutor investigating and prosecuting him, Kathleen Kane - and suspended her before recusing and then quickly "retiring" BECAUSE of what she uncovered, with a judicial disciplinary proceeding pending against him. Michael Eakin did not recuse also from appointing a member of the Judicial Conduct Board investigating his own "Porngate" disciplinary case who worked for Eakin's judicial retention campaign. After his "retirement", the judicial disciplinary proceeding stopped, but no attorney disciplinary proceeding was brought against Michael Eakin for abusing his position and a judge and retaliating against his own investigator and prosecutor in the "Porngate" email scandal.
- charged with crimes during the Porngate investigation and while judges were trying to keep e-mails from the public;
- pressured to resign - and when she refused;
- her law license was suspended by those very people who she was investigating;
- and then pressured to resign again - and when she did not;
- a Senate hearing was held to take her off her office because her law license was suspended - and when the Senate could not depose her;
- was put on trial by a judge who was apparently assigned to have Kane convicted by any means, and who, through a pre-trial motion hearing blocked her from even mentioning the Porngate in her defense - which was the whole reason why she was charged in the first place, then
- was convicted based on testimony of interested witnesses;
- kept out on bail before sentencing on conditions that she will not reveal what she knows of governmental misconduct she uncovered; and then
- sentenced to prison and verbally disgraced in the courtroom by the very judge who knowingly - and unlawfully - blocked Kane from introducing exculpatory evidence at her trial,
- had Kane handcuffed in the courtroom, and
- released her on bail pending appeal likely with conditions attached - if Kane releases anything else that the "ole' boys club" does not want her to release - she will go right to prison.
- repealing immunities of any kind for CIVIL lawsuits against public officials for their misconduct in office;
- pressure on the legislature, or another Constitutional amendment to allow people direct contact with the grand juries, and submission of complaints directly to the grand juries for misconduct of public officials - because prosecutors, whose licenses and livelihoods are regulated by judges, will be ever afraid to do that.