'Porngate' Unveils One State's Ugly Politics

Pennsylvania's attorney general revealed offensive messages
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2015 1:00 PM CST
'Porngate' Leaves Officials a Tad Embarrassed
In this Aug. 8, 2015, file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives to be processed and arraigned at the Montgomery County detective bureau in Norristown, Pa.    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

What do Pennsylvania state officials like emailing one another? Racist, pornographic, and misogynistic messages accompanied by lewd and offensive photos, according to a political scandal dubbed "Porngate." In recent months, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane revealed the messages amid a slew of thousands of emails uncovered in a probe of the state's Jerry Sandusky investigation, the Washington Post reports. Now six state employees have been fired, a state Supreme Court judge has resigned, another justice faces possible removal, and at least 60 employees at the attorney general's office have been reprimanded. The emails "demonstrate a complete lack of respect and tolerance for others," Kane said earlier this month, per the Patriot-News.

The emails also reveal cozy relationships between prosecutors and judges who share the same sense of humor. Among the messages: a photo of a woman giving a man oral sex along with the caption, "Making your boss happy is your only job"; another, of a white man carrying fried chicken while keeping two black men at bay, is captioned, "BRAVERY at its finest." As Kane put it, "I will not allow it on my watch—no matter how long that watch lasts," per the Philadelphia Inquirer. She's referring to the fact that she's up on felony perjury charges in an unrelated case and currently has her law license suspended. A Kane political rival, Frank Fina—who was embarrassed by the emails and now works for the Philadelphia district attorney—co-wrote a letter to court officials that led to Kane being charged. (Read more emails stories.)

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