Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took over an office under a very dark cloud in January 2017 following the conviction of his predecessor, Kathleen Kane, a few months earlier.
“We’ve worked really hard to rebuild the office,” Shapiro told The Times last week during a visit to the Pittsburgh area. “We’ve got the strongest, smartest and, certainly, the most diverse staff in the history of the office.”
Kane, once a rising star in Democratic politics, resigned in August 2016 after she was convicted on perjury, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. She entered prison in November 2018 and was released this past July.
“The hill to climb on rebuilding was steeper than I thought,” Shapiro, a Democrat, said over coffee at Panera Bread in North Fayette Township on Nov. 12.
Kane’s saga roiled Harrisburg for years and spawned that dark cloud over the attorney general’s office. Shapiro admitted that he was not immune from having a lesser opinion of those who worked there under Kane, but it’s a feeling that changed once he took the reins and got to know them.
“I was really wrong about some of the people that work there. I think I cast them unfairly with a broad brush,” said Shapiro, who acknowledged later learning that most were hardworking, honest public servants, “who needed leadership and who needed empowerment.”