Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane says she will make public offensive emails of state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin to prove her contention that his misconduct was overlooked by the high court and the state Judicial Conduct Board.

In a sharp letter to the Supreme Court, Kane lambasted the ethics board for its assertion that Eakin's messages were only "mildly pornographic."

The public, Kane wrote, "upon viewing these emails in their totality, will see them for what they are: offensive."

Her spokesman, Chuck Ardo, said Kane would make the emails public in some fashion Thursday morning.

In her letter, Kane cited five Eakin emails with crude photos or off-color jokes. One, she wrote, included a picture of "an obese naked woman on all fours with a pig nose and pigtail." (The full text of Kane's letter is available at

"Make no mistake," Kane wrote, "these emails are not just offensive to women, but to all Pennsylvanians, especially parents."

Kane's office released the letter Wednesday, a day before the suspension of her law license was to take effect. The justices received her letter Tuesday, along with a disc containing Eakin's emails, some ordinary, some troubling.

Ardo said Thursday's suspension of Kane's law license would have little effect on her ability to do her job. She will be able to carry out "98 percent" of her duties, he said, because most of her work is "administrative and magisterial."

However, he said, some of the office's senior lawyers disagree with Kane's assessment of the impact of her suspension and believe that she has downplayed its effect.

Kane first raised the issue of Eakin's emails last month after the Supreme Court ordered her license suspended because of the criminal case pending against her in Montgomery County.

The attorney general is charged with perjury, conspiracy, official oppression, and other crimes for allegedly leaking confidential information in a bid to embarrass a critic.

Kane, 49, a Democrat, has pleaded not guilty and vowed to remain in office.

The conduct board - as well as the Supreme Court, through a special counsel - cleared Eakin of wrongdoing after investigations last year.

The board said its review turned up about 50 Eakin emails with sexual content, but found them to be only "mildly pornographic or sexually suggestive in the vein of material that appears commonly in Playboy."

In a letter to Eakin late last year, it noted that the justice had only received - and had not sent - the adult-oriented messages. Kane did not address that point in her letter to the high court.

In the letter, Kane was most stinging in her criticism of the 12-member judicial panel and its chief counsel, Robert A. Graci.

She suggested that Graci should be investigated by the new special counsel appointed by the court to look into Eakin's emails, its second such appointee in a year.

Jim Koval, a court spokesman, said Wednesday that it would make no decisions on Eakin matters until the new review is completed.

Eakin, 66, a Republican first elected to the bench in 2001, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

In a statement last week, he apologized for his "insensitive" emails, saying they "do not reflect my character or beliefs."

Graci, who did not return calls Wednesday, has said Kane did not make all of Eakin's emails available for his review.

But in her letter, Kane insisted that Graci had seen the ones she plans to make public and deems unquestionably offensive. She said he viewed them in her office and departed with copies of them on a disk.

Kane also said that two days after the judicial board dismissed complaints against Eakin, her office discovered a cache of 988 fresh emails sent or received by the justice. Those emails included some of the most troubling ones, her staff said.

Kane wrote the high court that Graci was "put on actual notice" that it could inspect the 988 messages, but he never responded or asked to look at them.

Graci, in an earlier interview with The Inquirer, declined to say whether Kane had told him more emails were available or whether he had followed up on that.

In her letter, Kane suggested that both Graci and the high court's first special counsel, Robert Byer, "failed to inform anyone of the existence of these offensive emails and the web of persons involved."

Byer did not respond to a call seeking comment Wednesday. The Supreme Court has blamed Kane for any deficiencies in Byer's report, saying she had not made all emails available to him.

While Graci's report said there were 50 emails with X-rated content, Byer said he saw only one.

Graci and Byer have been under pressure to justify the conclusions of their reports since the Philadelphia Daily News reported that, along with sexually explicit emails, Eakin received emails that mocked blacks, Latinos, gays, and Muslims. He also sent an email with a "joke" about battered women, the newspaper reported.

Kane lit the fuse this month when she accused Eakin of receiving and sending "racial, misogynistic pornography" in emails. She did so on the day on which she was charged with a fresh count of perjury.

Last year, Kane first disclosed that her office's email servers had been a hub for the exchange of porn by government officials.

She has said her exposure of this spurred enemies who had exchanged porn to foment the criminal case against her. Prosecutors have disputed Kane's contention and said the porn scandal is irrelevant to the criminal case against her.

Kane's discovery of the offensive emails led to the resignation last year of several top government officials, as well as the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.