A Montgomery County Court judge on Monday ordered former Attorney General Kathleen Kane to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse after an arrest in March on suspicion of drunk driving violated her probation for a conviction for corruption in 2016.
Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy revoked Kane’s probation and ordered him to undergo treatment. The judge recognized Kane for the two months she spent in a rehab center and jail after her drunk driving arrest and said she should immediately enroll in an alcohol treatment program in a hospital setting in West Chester called Thornbury Farm House. The programs website says it helps women make changes “in their thoughts, moods, behaviors, and spirituality in order to stay sober and sober.”
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Lloyd told the court: “The Commonwealth’s concern is to resolve the defendant’s substance abuse issues.
Kane, 55, who appeared to have no family or supporters in the courtroom, spoke briefly to say only that she agreed she violated her probation with the DUI arrest . She told the judge that she did not wish to give a longer statement.
The judge, in handing down the sentence, quoted a probation officer as saying that Kane had been “humiliated by the current events in her life”. The judge also said experts at another rehabilitation center where Kane had recently stayed determined that she faced “significant long-term and short-term trauma issues.”
Officially, Demchick-Alloy gave Kane a new prison sentence of two to 12 months, but by awarding him two months of past detention, he allowed Kane to immediately enroll in the Chester County program. Kane’s attorney had wanted his treatment to be in an outpatient facility, but the judge ordered him to stay in a facility.
Demchick-Alloy presided over the 2016 trial and sentenced Kane to jail time followed by probation. At the start of Monday’s hearing, the judge looked at Kane and said, “I was hoping not to see you, but that was your choice, not mine.”
Three days after her March 12 arrest for impaired driving in Scranton, officials revealed Monday, Kane checked herself into a hospital facility, Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery in Scotrun, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles south of her home outside of Scranton. She stayed there for 45 days, then voluntarily surrendered to Montgomery County Jail in Eagleville – the same jail where she spent eight months for her bribery conviction.
Kane remained there from April 29 until sheriffs took him to court Monday in Norristown. The former top state attorney was handcuffed again after Monday’s hearing but is expected to be moved quickly to Thornbury Farm. Patients usually stay there for three to six months.
Kane, in her only run for office, became the first Democrat and the first woman to be elected Attorney General in Pennsylvania. She was convicted in 2016 of perjuring herself before a grand jury for unlawfully disclosing confidential information in an effort to embarrass a political enemy. A jury found her guilty of perjury, official oppression, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
She was arrested on March 12 on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing her Audi into another car in Scranton, near her hometown of Clarks Summit. No one was hurt.
She refused to take a blood alcohol test, but the arresting officer said Kane had slurred speech, smelled of alcohol and swayed when asked to stand on one foot. The driver of the car Kane hit told police that Kane’s car smelled of fresh perfume before officers arrived.
Kane faces a preliminary hearing Thursday in Scranton on the DUI charge, a misdemeanor and a citation for reckless driving.
In 2014, The Inquirer reported that Kane had secretly shut down an undercover investigation that caught Democratic lawmakers in Philadelphia pocketing money from an undercover informant posing as a lobbyist.
Furious that her actions became public knowledge, Kane sought revenge on a former state attorney she blamed for the story. A jury found that she leaked secret investigative information in an effort to punish the former prosecutor, then lied under oath about it to a grand jury.
This story has been updated with additional information about the terms of the judge’s order.