KATHLEEN KANE may have broken the law when she leaked details from a grand jury, and she found out this week that she will stand trial for that. Gallons of ink have been spilled on the investigation and the beleaguered attorney general's response, in which she has tried to make a porn email scandal in the Attorney General's Office the center of what she claims is a manufactured case against her.
Given her awkward handling of the case, the porn emails have, until now, threatened to become a sideline in a complicated and confusing case driven by bitter rivalries.
So let's move on from Kane. Because the porn at the center of scandal that brought down one Supreme Court justice, a few high-placed state officials and a handful of prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office deserves our full attention . . . sickening as that prospect is.
Yesterday, the state Supreme Court unsealed reams of documents, including some of the emails in question. While the original news of the email ring was bad enough, it's something else to see the actual material that was distributed by people collecting taxpayer-funded paychecks. The images are demeaning, degrading and disgusting, often with punchlines that are puerile and exhibit a world view that would make a Neanderthal proud.
For example: One featured an image of a naked female posterior with the words "A great butt: God's way of apologizing for a lack of a rack."
And that's one of the more sophisticated ones.
Others are far more explicit and disturbing. They all add up to a culture of stupidity and misogyny that is chilling.
Most troubling is not just that these emails were exchanged in a taxpayer-supported workplace, but in a workplace that investigates and prosecutes crimes. Those crimes include child pornography, sex abuse and other heinous acts, including those against women.
The shame in all of this? We seriously doubt the prosecutors who sent and received these emails had women's interests and legal rights in mind.
And where's the heat for Tom Corbett, who led the Attorney General's Office for five years before being elected governor? Kane had just taken office when her investigation into the office's handling of the Jerry Sandusky case led to the discovery of the emails.
How can Corbett not be held accountable for presiding over a culture that would tolerate such stuff? His acclaimed ignorance that it was going on is no excuse. In fact, as a leader, his cluelessness constitutes a form of permission.
Meanwhile, two people involved in this scandal are now employed by District Attorney Seth Williams; one, Frank Fina, is at its center, and is the author of many of the emails released yesterday.
Williams says he will investigate the materials before acting. It took us two minutes to review some of the emails being sent by Fina to want to vomit in disgust. It shouldn't take Williams much longer to send a message of zero tolerance.
These emails do accomplish one thing: They give credence to the idea that many men in the Attorney General's Office couldn't tolerate a woman being in charge . . . at least one who kept her clothes on.