HARRISBURG - Embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane does not believe she will be hampered in doing her job once the suspension of her law license takes effect at day's end.
Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo told reporters Wednesday that Kane will be able to carry out "98 percent" of her duties because the majority of what she does on a day-to-day basis is "administrative and magisterial."
"The chain of command will remain in place, as it has been," Ardo said.
He said some of the office's senior lawyers disagree with Kane's assessment of the impact of her suspension, although it was unclear what, if anything, they can or will do to address the conflict.
Kane's law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court last month as a result of the criminal case she is facing in Montgomery County. The attorney general has been charged with conspiracy, official oppression, perjury and other crimes for allegedly leaking confidential information in a bid to embarrass a critic.
The suspension takes effect at midnight.
Kane, 49, the first woman and first Democrat elected to the office, has pleaded not guilty and has vowed to remain in office while fighting the charges.
The high court voted unanimously to suspend Kane's law license at the request of the state Disciplinary Board, which oversees attorney conduct and sought an emergency suspension of Kane's license shortly after she was criminally charged. In doing so, the board suggested that public confidence in the attorney general had been "totally eroded."
Under the state constitution, the attorney general must be a member of the bar, throwing into question what decisions Kane can now make on behalf of the office.
Ardo said he believes she can continue to sign documents, have access to criminal information - including secret grand jury materials - and even act in an advisory role on legal matters.
In instances in which she cannot act as a lawyer, other attorneys in the office, including her first deputy, Bruce Beemer, will step in, he said.
"It's her position that virtually all legal decisions are made before they reach her desk, and that her decisions are primarily administrative or somehow supervisory," said Ardo.