ormer Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane is likely headed to prison. She was found guilty recently of multiple counts of perjury and criminal conspiracy for leaking grand jury information to a reporter. But Kathleen Kane is also a whistleblower. And like most whistleblower cases, there is more than meets the eye in this one, more than what the press would have you believe are all the facts.
First a few words about whistleblowers and whistleblowing. Almost no whistleblower thinks he or she is a whistleblower, despite the fact that there is a legal definition of whistleblowing: bringing to light any evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public health or public safety. Still, very few whistleblowers set out to do that. Most believe they were simply exposing wrongdoing like anybody would. Furthermore, when whistleblowers are prosecuted, it is usually not for the actual act of whistleblowing. As soon as a person blows the whistle on wrongdoing, investigators will begin looking into the whistleblower’s past. And with broadly-written laws prohibiting things like “conspiracy,” “wire fraud,” “mail fraud,” “perjury,” and “making a false statement,” the bottom line is that if the authorities want to get you, they’re going to get you.