NORRISTOWN >> Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane smiled briefly but declined comment as she left the Montgomery County Courthouse after selecting jurors that will decide her fate on alleged perjury charges.
After eight hours of a tedious selection process, six men and six women were selected Monday for the jury panel. Four alternate jurors, two men and two women, also were selected during the day-long process.
The jury was selected from a pool of 100 potential jurors who crammed into the courthouse’s ceremonial courtroom for the selection process.
“We have our jury,” Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy declared as prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on the panel.
Kane, wearing a powder blue suit, was escorted by her security detail from the courthouse at the end of the day to a waiting black sport utility vehicle. Kane hugged several family members who were in court to support her.
The judge ordered jurors and lawyers to reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when lawyers will give their opening statements to the jury and witnesses will begin providing testimony. The judge told jurors the trial will last one week, “give or take.”
Jurors will not be sequestered during the trial.
Kane, 50, a first-term Democrat, faces charges of perjury, obstructing administration of law, abuse of office and false swearing in connection with allegations she orchestrated the illegal disclosure of confidential investigative information and secret grand jury information to the media and then engaged in acts designed to conceal and cover up her alleged conduct.
During the selection process prospective jurors were able to pore over a two-page list of more than two dozen potential trial witnesses that included: former and current employees of the Office of Attorney General; county Judge William R. Carpenter, who supervised the grand jury that investigated Kane; Thomas Carluccio, the special prosecutor appointed by Carpenter to oversee the grand jury; Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams; and Patrick Rocco Reese, a member of Kane’s security detail who was convicted of contempt last year in connection with accessing email messages related to the grand jury that was investigating Kane for alleged grand jury leaks.
None of the jurors indicated they knew any of the potential witnesses.
District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and co-prosecutors M. Stewart Ryan and Michelle Henry are handling the prosecution of the state’s top law enforcement official.
Kane is represented by defense lawyers Gerald L. Shargel, Seth C. Farber, Ross M. Kramer, Douglas Rosenblum and Amil Minora.
With the charges against Kane, prosecutors allege she orchestrated the release of secret information about the 2009 Investigating Grand Jury No. 29 to Christopher Brennan, then a reporter at The Daily News, in order to retaliate against a former state prosecutor, Frank Fina, with whom she was feuding and who she believed provided information to The Inquirer to embarrass her regarding a sting operation he was in charge of and which she shut down. Fina also was listed as a potential witness at trial.
Kane also is accused of lying to the 35th statewide grand jury in November 2014 to cover up her alleged leaks by lying under oath when she claimed she never agreed to maintain her secrecy regarding the 2009 grand jury investigation.
County prosecutors allege they discovered evidence that Kane signed a so-called “secrecy oath” on her second day in office on Jan. 17, 2013, promising her secrecy for statewide investigating grand juries one through 32. The oath compelled Kane to maintain the secrecy of all matters occurring before past and present statewide grand juries, prosecutors alleged.
Kane, who is not seeking re-election, has claimed she did nothing wrong and has implied the charges are part of an effort to force her out of office because she discovered pornographic emails being exchanged between state employees on state email addresses.